Crane hire company fined for breaching safety regulations

Wednesday, 10 January, 2024

Crane hire company fined for breaching safety regulations

Crane hire company Halifax Crane Hire Pty Ltd has been fined $12,000 at a retrial for failing to ensure the required number of people were involved in the use of its crane at a construction site. The company was found guilty of breaching the now-repealed Occupational Safety and Health Regulation relating to the number of people required to be involved in the use of cranes. The company was originally fined $40,000 in May 2022 after a trial, and it appealed the conviction and sentence. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal against conviction and a retrial was held.

The incident occurred in March 2017, after the company supplied a 70-tonne crane, a crane operator and a dogger to a construction site being run by Gran Designs WA Pty Ltd to assist in moving concrete panels being used to construct a house in the town of Yarloop.

The relevant regulation at the time stipulated that the responsible person must ensure that where a crane with a maximum rated capacity of greater than 60 tonnes is used at a construction site, there must also be at least one dogger and one rigger or two doggers or two riggers involved in the use of the crane, as well as a crane operator. Each must also have experience in the use of such a crane.

In this instance, Halifax sent one dogger and one crane operator, with no other licensed dogger or rigger at the construction site. Acting WorkSafe WA Commissioner Sally North said the regulations existed to ensure that work was done safely and should never have been ignored.

“The result of the retrial is confirmation that Halifax did not comply with their obligations under the regulations, acting in a way that was contrary to safe work practices. This case should serve as a reminder to all employers that they are responsible for worker safety and that everyone on a work site needs to adhere to the workplace safety regulations,” North said.

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