Not Such an Excellent Decision

The contractor in the Arkwood matter has been fined a paltry $15 k for failing to ensure (and in fact proactively encouraging) an unqualified truck driver to operate a crane that struck overhead powerlines and seriously injured two workers. In addition, the contractor failed to comply with his own safe work method statement which emphasised the risk of powerlines and the need for a spotter.
His honour held that “Mr Bennett should not have permitted [the employee] to operate the crane, because [the employee] was unlicensed and inexperienced. Arkwood (the PC) should not have been involved in cranage operations when Arkwood had not done a risk assessment or used a spotter to check that the crane was not approaching too close to the obvious overhead powerlines,”
So the Council (not on site and who had no management or control of the operations) entered into a $600K enforceable undertaking. the Principal Contractor, Arkwood who did not instruct its workers to be involved in the operation of the crane and were entitled to rely on the contractor to undertake their work without oversight by them were fine $150K and the actual offender was fine $15k.
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