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Prosecution Details

Offender P.C.H. Pty Ltd
Trading Name Pemac Crane Hire


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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 AR3284/08 5 and 6 February 2007 7th July 2008 3.88D(1)(b) 1.16(2)(b)(i) $2,500.00 7th July 2008
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer at a construction site failed to ensure that the temporary bracing of a concrete panel at the construction site was in accordance with AS 3850 section 6: contrary to Regulations 3.88D(1)(b) and 1.16 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.

Background Details

P.C.H. Pty Ltd (trading as Pemac Crane Hire) (the Accused) is, and was at all material times, a company registered by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

The Accused operates a crane hire business which includes the erection of tilt-up concrete construction panels. The Accused is operated by a husband and wife. Both are directors of the Accused.

The husband principally operates the business of the Accused and also operates the crane that forms the crane hire aspect of the Accused's business.

The husband is not a qualified practising engineer.

On 5 and 6 February 2007 the Accused was working at Lot 35 Tacoma Circuit, Canning Vale erecting tilt-up construction panels under a contract with Di Lanzo Pty Ltd trading as Level One Concret ("Level One Concrete").

This premise was a "workplace" for the purposes of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 ("the Act").

On the material dates the husband was operating the crane and his employee was assisting him to erect tilt-up panels.

The Accused's work at the workplace on 5 and 6 February 2007 included the erection of 22 panels forming the exterior walls of the building under construction. These panels required temporary bracing to hold the panels in place before they were finally secured in place. This bracing was to be as per the specification on the engineer's plans, commonly known as "shop drawings".

The shop drawings for these tilt-up panels at this workplace were supplied by Tilt-Lift Equipment Pty Ltd and required 2 braces per panel.

The shop drawings required that these temporary braces were to be fixed to the panel by a fixing cast into the panel itself and the foot of each brace was to be fixed to the ground within 150mm of a distance of 3500mm from the base of the panel.

Panels 1, 11 and 12 could not be braced in accordance with the shop drawings due to other tilt-up slabs having been poured in the wrong place by Level One Concrete.

The husband proceeded to erect these panels around this obstacle after discussions with the Principal of Level One Concrete.

The Principal of Level One Concrete is not a qualified practising engineer.

The husband determined how these panels ought to be braced. In doing so he relied on the fact that the Principal of the Accused, Level One Concrete, had cast the new bracing points into the concrete approximately seven days previously. Bracing panels can only occur from threaded bracing points or ferrules that are set into the concrete. The setting of these in concrete is generally undertaken by a concreter, such as Level One Concrete, rather than the lifting contractor, such as the Accused, which is what occurred in this instance.

These panels were not braced in accordance with the shop drawings in that:

(i) the right hand brace on panel 11 was not fixed to the ground;
(ii) the left hand brace of panel 12 was fixed to the floor at approximately 130mm from the base of the panel;
(iii) a plate, supplied by Level One Concrete, had been installed between panels 11 and 12 which was not provided for on the shop drawings;
(iv) panels 1 and 12 had a third brace attached to them by a bracing point set by Level One Concrete which was not provided for on the shop drawings; and
(v) the left hand brace on panel 1 was not fixed to the ground leaving two braces.

The husband did not obtain a written variation to the shop drawings by a qualified practising engineer specifying the variations to the temporary bracing to accommodate the obstacle created by the panels poured in the wrong position prior to accepting the variation of the configuration of the temporary bracing points by Level One Concrete and erecting panels 1, 11 and 12.

This written variation was provided on 7 February 2007.

Outcome Summary

Plead Guilty

Court Magistrate's Court of Western Australia - Armadale
Costs $870.70

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