Crane business and employee ordered to pay $9,877 after an employee received an electric shock

Information status

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A crane operating business and one of its employees have been ordered to pay a total of $9,877 over an incident in 2013 where an employee received an electric shock.

Cranes R Us (WA) Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to directing a worker to complete high risk work when they were not licensed to do so and was fined $5,000 plus ordered to pay costs of $688.50.

Simon Peter Pratt pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable care to avoid adversely affecting the safety of others, and carrying out high risk work without the required High Risk Work Licence.  Mr Pratt was fined $3,500 plus ordered to pay costs of $688.50.

On September 10, 2013 Mr Pratt was employed by Cranes R Us, who had been contracted to lift steel lintels to the window and door frames at a construction site for a new residential dwelling in White Gum Valley.

Mr Pratt and the dogman on the site conducted a visual site assessment and saw the overhead high voltage power lines at the front of the site.

The crane’s boom commenced rising upward until the end of the boom came in line with the overhead power lines and at a distance of approximately two metres from the lines.

The boom then slewed away from the site, toward the power lines. The dogman, who had been holding onto the crane’s hook, started to let go, however, the crane made contact with the power lines and an arc flashover occurred.

The dogman received an electric shock and burns to the palm of his right hand and both feet.

Mr Pratt had been granted a Certificate of Competency for slewing mobile cranes up to 20 tonnes in 2003, however this certificate expired in 2012.  Mr Pratt did not submit an application to WorkSafe to convert his Certificate to a High Risk Work Licence and was hence unlicensed at the time of the incident.

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 ensure that the workplace is safe.

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

“Both the employer and the employee are responsible for ensuring the relevant licences are current before undertaking high risk work.

“Fortunately, no one was fatally injured in the incident, however it could have been a very different story. It is crucial that crane drivers are aware of the position of overhead power lines and maintain the relevant exclusion zones.”

Further information

Further information on providing a safe workplace can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307 8777 

Media contact: Candace Beilby 6251 1930 or 0411 258 721 (media enquiries only)

candace.beilby @commerce.wa.gov.au

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

WorkSafe
Media release
09 Mar 2016

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