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Prosecution Details

Offender Bradley David Lemmon as a partner in the firm Mobicrane W.A.

Charges

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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 PE32393/2017 13 April 2015 14th July 2017 3A(2)(a)(i) $15,000.00 25th August 2017
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer did not as far as is practicable provide and maintain a working environment in which the employees of the employer are not exposed to hazards.

Background Details

Workplace and Employment

The Accused operates a partnership with his wife trading as Mobicrane W.A

The Accused is a qualified crane operator and holds a High Risk Work Licence (HRWL) class C6 to operate a mobile slewing crane up to 60t capacity (Licence No WL3243288).

The Accused employed a dogman (the Dogman) to carry out dogging work.  The Dogman is qualified and holds a HRWL class DG – dogging (Licence No WL3363984). He was acting as the Dogman on the site at all material times.

A company providing concrete reinforcement services was contracted by a home building company (main contractor on site) to supply and install steel reinforcement bars for the first floor of the residence under construction at 2A Athelstan Road, Cottesloe (on the corner of Haining Avenue) (the Workplace). The concrete reinforcement company contracted Bradley Lemmon trading as Mobicrane W.A. to supply the crane to lift the reinforcement steel bars to the first floor.

Overhead high voltage power lines are adjacent to the Workplace running down Haining Avenue.

Incident

On Monday 13 April 2015 at around 7am the accused was operating a Tadano Ltd mobile slewing crane  (the Crane) at the residential construction site on the corner of Athelstan Road and Haining Avenue, Cottesloe (the Workplace).

The Dogman arrived at the Workplace before the accused and had a brief discussion with other workers already on site.

The accused who was driving the Crane arrived shortly afterwards and parked the crane where the Building Supervisor had previously had his vehicle located. The crane was facing towards the construction site across Haining Avenue and the accused began to set up the outriggers on the Crane.

The reinforcing steel was in bundles on the grass running parallel with Haining Avenue immediately to the front right outrigger of the Crane and between the construction site and the overhead powerlines.

The accused failed to identify the presence of the overhead power lines. A properly conducted visual site inspection should have identified the power lines.

The accused began operating the Crane’s boom from inside the cab whilst the Dogman stood near the front left outrigger and took hold of the lifting chains waiting for the Crane’s hook to be lowered.  The accused extended the Crane’s boom which came within the minimum approach distance of 66KV overhead power lines and caused a flash over to occur.

The Dogman received electrical burns to his hands and feet. He fell to the ground and was taken to hospital by ambulance. The accused also received a shock and was taken to hospital by ambulance. The accused was released from hospital about midday the same day.  The Dogman was transferred to the Fiona Stanley Burns Unit due to minor burns to both hands and both feet. He was released from hospital later the same day and subsequently attended several appointments at a clinic in West Perth for the dressings on his feet to be changed.  He was unable to work for a month as he was unable to wear his work boots due to the injuries to his feet.

The clearance distance for overhead power lines was clearly marked by a sign in the Crane cab where the accused was sitting.

The accused was aware of the serious risks posed by overhead power lines as demonstrated by the Mobicrane Job Safety Analysis (JSA).

The accused failed to provide a working environment in which his employees are not exposed to hazards by operating the Crane in a manner which allowed the boom to come within the minimum approach distance to the overhead power lines whilst the Dogman was standing near the Crane and a flash over occurred. The flash over occurred from the middle phase of the 66 KV cable to the cable on the boom of the Crane.

The Western Power High Voltage Fault Crew Leading Hand attended the Workplace and measured the distance between the Crane boom cable and the closest power line cable to be 1.2m.

The minimum approach distance for high voltage overhead power lines is 6m.

After this incident the accused implemented a pre-job safety checklist to ensure that such an incident does not occur again.




Outcome Summary

The Accused entered a guilty plea on 14 July 2017 and was convicted. On 25 August 2017 the Magistrate fined the Accused $15,000.00 and ordered costs of $3577.00.

Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
Costs $3577.00

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