A Western Australian crane and hoist company and two of its directors have been fined $180,000 over the death of a 22-year-old worker in 2007.
D&G Hoists & Cranes Pty Ltd and directors David Keating and Luigi Decesare were found guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court over the death of 22-year-old rigger Luke Aaron Murrie.
In October 2007, he suffered a fatal head injury after being struck by a 375-kilogram section of crane mast that fell out of a pack of 16 sections being moved by a crane.
D&G was found guilty of failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace and, by that failure, causing the death of a worker.
The two directors of the company were found guilty of breaching a section of the Occupational Safety and Health Act dealing with offences that occur which are attributable to their neglect as a director.
As a result, D&G was fined $90,000 and the two directors were fined $45,000 each.
The case should be seen as a reminder that safe work practices needed to be in place, according to acting WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch.
"The tragic death of this young man should serve as a reminder that safe systems of work are crucial in every workplace," McCulloch said.
"The case also illustrates that directors have an obligation to directly intervene if necessary in situations where unsafe work practices are taking place."
The court was told that the slinging practice used was inherently dangerous because it relied heavily on the packing straps supporting the load, "which they clearly did not", said McCulloch.
"The court found that it would have been practicable for safe work practices to have been in place, which may well have prevented this tragic loss of a young life."