The incident* that prompted this court case involved moving a heavy and awkward 60 metre long section of polyethylene pipe, which was being supported at one end by two workers and a forklift holding the other end.
When the worker’s end slipped the pipe struck the workers and fatally crushed one of them.
The procedure in place at the time of the accident did not prohibit movement of both ends at the same time, which increases the risk of the load slipping.
The magistrate stated that a proper risk assessment would have identified the potential hazard of the pipe slipping and striking people in close proximity.
Extreme care is needed when moving suspended loads in proximity of people, particularly when they are awkward and being supported at multiple points and when people are potentially in the “line of fire”.
The company Telfor Gold Mine was fined $130,000.
*Incident from December 2014 was heard in the Perth Magistrates court in February 2016.