Concrete pumping company fined after worker's death


Monday, 24 June, 2024

Concrete pumping company fined after worker's death

A Victorian concrete pumping company has been convicted and fined $50,000 after a concrete boom pump snapped and fatally struck a worker. Prisbel Concrete Pumping Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to a single charge of failing to provide or maintain safe plant. The company was also ordered to pay $8179 in costs.

The experienced pump operator was reportedly using a truck-mounted pumping machine fitted with a 32-metre boom pump to pour a concrete slab at a St Albans construction site in May 2021. As the 40-year-old pumped the last of 10 loads of concrete while standing in the slab, the extended boom suddenly collapsed and struck him on the back of his head, knocking him into the concrete and causing fatal injuries.

An investigation conducted by WorkSafe Victoria found that the boom collapsed as a result of a metal fatigue crack which caused the king post, inside the turret, to snap in half. The cracks may have been detectable for a year or more prior to the boom snapping, had the king post been removed from the pump and inspected.

The company had reportedly arranged regular inspections of the boom pump since purchasing it in 2010, but none had involved disassembling the unit and testing critical components such as the king post, which is recommended periodically under Australian Standards. It was reasonably practicable for the company to reduce the risk of the concrete pump collapsing by conducting a major inspection, including non-destructive testing of the king post.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Sam Jenkin said proper safety testing and maintenance is crucial when working with machine. “It’s just part of doing business and there’s no excuse for failing to test regularly and thoroughly. Tragically, a worker has lost his life, leaving behind devastated family and friends whose lives will never be the same, as a result of a terrible incident which could have been prevented,” Jenkin said.

Image credit: iStock.com/poco_bw

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