Demolition company fined

News Story
- 10 Nov 2016 ( #795 ) - Melbourne, Vic, Australia
2 min read
PPK Demolition has been fined $45,000
PPK Demolition has been fined $45,000
A Prahran demolition company has been fined $45,000 over an incident in which a worker had his right leg crushed and later amputated when the overloaded skid steer loader he was operating tipped.

PPK Demolition Pty Ltd pleaded guilty at the Melbourne Magistrates Court to breaching the 2004 OHS Act for failing to provide a safe working environment and failing to provide or maintain safe systems of work. It was fined without conviction and ordered to pay $4,564 in costs.

On 4 March 2015, the company was carrying out demolition work on an old structure at the rear of a residence in Prahran to make way for a double-storey extension.

The worker, who was 22 at the time, was using the skid steer loader to collect debris from the rear of the property and drive it to a skip bin.
The court heard that the worker loaded a piece of concrete weighing 920 kg into the bucket of the machine, which exceeded its rated operating capacity of 748 kg.  

As he raised the bucket above the skip bin to empty it, the machine tipped forward and ejected him from his seat. The worker's right leg slipped outside the cabin and was crushed just above the knee as the hydraulic arms of the bucket came down. The worker's leg was later amputated in hospital.

The court heard that while the worker did not hold formal operator qualifications, a supervisor had observed him operating the machine and believed him to be competent. The court also heard that while the worker had been told to wear a seatbelt, it was not worn at the time of the incident.

The company accepted it had breached its duty as an employer by not providing safe work instruction to direct employees on how to estimate load size or safe loading of the skid steer loader. It also had not ensured employees were competent in assessing the weight of a load to ensure it complied with loading specifications.
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