Engineering company fined for inadequate demolition advice
Grasso Consulting Engineers has been fined $200,000 for providing inadequate advice to a high-risk demolition project and thereby failing to comply with its duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. This led to the dangerous and unplanned collapse of the former Sydney Entertainment Centre’s roof during demolition.
Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said Grasso Consulting Engineers and its director, Ignazio Grasso, provided inadequate advice to the high-risk demolition project, and by doing so failed to comply with their duties under the Act.
“Construction and demolition workers rely on the advice provided by engineers for their safety. The risks could have been minimised, if not eliminated, with proper analysis, planning and communication by the engineer,” said Anderson.
Grasso failed to undertake relevant calculations or computer modelling to assess the risk of unplanning structural collapse of the roof prior to giving the demolition advice. Grasso instead relied on fallible engineering judgement. Once the demolition work began the roof unexpectedly collapsed, crushing an excavator and trapping a worker inside.
“SafeWork will not hesitate to take legal action against those who don’t comply with work health and safety laws. Everyone has the right to return home to their families at the end of the day, and those who cut corners will be prosecuted,” said Anderson.
The NSW Government is introducing tough new workplace safety laws that can result in jail terms for people who put workers at risk of serious injury or death.
“A bipartisan parliamentary committee recently endorsed the NSW Government’s proposed new laws and I urge Labor and the Greens to put workers safety before politics and support the current Bill when parliament returns,” said Anderson.
Grasso Consulting Engineers and Grasso have the right to appeal the judgement.
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