Perth contractor fined $60,000 for tilt-up panel collapse

Jbt pled guilty to three charges under Occupational Safety and Health Regulations on Friday and was fined $20,000 for each charge. According to WorkSafe Western Australia, principal contractor Jbt secured the services of a company to supply and install concrete panels. The concrete company then contracted a rigging business to erect the panels. At the time of the incident, two rigging company employees were responsible for securing the concrete panels to steel roof framing and removing the braces, which were bolted into place. Although the two employees began the work, they were required at another site and left the completion of the task to two other rigging employees. One worker went on to unbolt and remove the brace supporting a 7t, 8m by 2.5m concrete panel. Without the brace securing it in place, the concrete panel collapsed to the ground. The procedure leading to the collapse failed to comply with the Australian standard, WorkSafe WA said. WorkSafe WA commissioner Nina Lyhne said the rigger working on the panel had not received appropriate training. “Training is absolutely vital to working safely in tilt-up construction,” Lyhne said. “We have seen the tragic consequences of not sticking strictly to the laws where tilt-up construction is concerned, and everyone involved in the industry needs to ensure that safety is the top priority on site.” She said tilt-up construction was high risk and the regulations are in place to maximise safety. “A comprehensive Code of Practice on Tilt-up and Precast Concrete Construction has been available for some years, and copies of this code should be made available on all sites where tilt-up work is taking place.”

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