A COMPANY has been fined $160,000 over the deaths of two labourers who were crushed when unsecured concrete tilt-up panels fell from a specialised trailer at a Perth construction site.
Axedale Holdings, trading as Shaw’s Cartage Contractors, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of workers, which caused the deaths of Joseph McDermott and Gerard Bradley in November 2015.
The company was also ordered to pay costs of $2200 in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday.
WorkSafe said six panels on the trailer had not been individually restrained and each weighed more than three tonnes.
As the third panel was lifted by a crane, the remaining unsecured panels slipped and fatally struck the two men.
WorkSafe Commissioner Ian Munns said there was a longstanding code of practice and Australian standards to ensure pre-cast panels were dealt with safely.
“Axedale did not have proper systems in place to restrain every panel until the crane safely took the weight,” he said.
“This was a gross under-estimation of the terrible foreseeable risks when moving concrete panels.
“Additionally, Axedale had the correct ratchets and straps available but did not use them due to the lack of safety systems and procedures.”
Two other parties have also been charged but have pleaded not guilty.