Crane driver fined $2500 plus costs for bringing down power lines

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A crane driver has been fined $2500 over an incident in which the crane he was operating brought down power lines in Osborne Park.

He was also ordered to pay WorkSafe’s costs of $594.00.

Robert Fraser was found guilty of failing to take reasonable care of the safety and health of others and was fined in the Perth Magistrates Court last week.

In March 2014, Mr Fraser was employed as a crane driver and was working at a construction site in Scarborough Beach Road, Osborne Park.

The site was surrounded by established commercial buildings, with power lines running along Scarborough Beach Road with a footpath underneath.

Prior to starting work, Mr Fraser had signed the Job Safety Environment Analysis form that required good communication with the crane driver at all times, communication between the rigger and the crane driver, and stipulated that tail ropes be used to control loads at all times.

During the morning, Mr Fraser took control of a load that did not have tail ropes attached and began to move it to where it was going to be used to tie in tilt-up panels.

After he took control of the load, it became apparent that the riggers working on elevated work platforms were not ready to accept the load.

Mr Fraser made the decision to slew the load outside of the building line, where it made contact with and brought down power lines onto the footpath running along Scarborough Beach Road.

The court found that, by slewing the load outside of the building line, Mr Fraser had failed to take reasonable care not to adversely affect other persons.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said today the case should serve as a reminder that it is the responsibility of everyone in the workplace to play their part in ensuring that the workplace is safe.

“This case illustrates that it is not just an employer’s responsibility to keep the workplace safe – employees and contractors also have an obligation to take reasonable care to ensure the safety and health of others in the workplace,” Mr McCulloch said.

“The crane driver had signed off on the JSA for the job so he should have been aware of the hazards on the site, including the presence of power lines in the vicinity of the work being done.

“Fortunately no-one was injured in the incident, but it could have been a totally different story if there had been another worker, or even a member of the public, on the footpath where the power lines fell.

“It is crucially important for crane drivers to be aware of the position of power lines and to observe the relevant exclusion zones because electricity is a deadly hazard.”

Further information on working in the vicinity of power lines can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.

Media contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)

caroline.devaney@commerce.wa.gov.au

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

 

WorkSafe
Media release
01 Oct 2015

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