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Inquest into the Death of Robert Stephan Hamiora SERJEANT

Inquest into the Death of Robert Stephan Hamiora SERJEANT

Delivered on: 18 April 2017

Delivered at: Perth

Finding of: Coroner King

Recommendations: Yes

I recommend that the Western Australian Commission for Occupational Safety and Health and the Minister of Commerce consider and, if appropriate, implement as soon as possible amendments to the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1984 to apply the requirements of AS 3850:2015 to civil construction works.

Orders/Rules: N/A

Suppression Order: N/A

Summary: The deceased was an experienced and qualified rigger who worked on a building site in Karratha.

On 13 July 2013 the deceased was working with a crane operator to load a 2 m soakwell lid onto a truck. The deceased attached two clutches connected to the crane line to two anchors fabricated into the soakwell lid. The soakwell lid weighed 800 kg.

The soakwell lid was lifted by the crane to a height of approximately 2 m. The deceased was holding a tag line attached to the soakwell lid.  As the load slewed towards the truck, the soakwell lid flipped and fell onto the deceased, causing him fatal injuries.

The focus of the evidence at the inquest was on the technical cause of the failure of the lift and the potential for amendments to the National Code of Practice for Precast, Tilt-up and Concrete Elements in Building Construction or to the relevant Australian Standard, with a view to reducing the likelihood of death or injury occurring again in similar circumstances.

The Coroner was satisfied that the deceased wrongly attached 2.5 tonne lifting clutches to 1.3 tonne anchor pins on an inherently unstable load and then did not ensure that he was out of the drop zone. Once lifted, the load rotated and the clutches slipped off the anchor pins, allowing the load to fall onto the deceased.  The Coroner found that death occurred by way of accident.

The Coroner recommended extending the Occupation Safety and Health Regulations 1984 to apply regulation AS 3850:2015 to civil construction and supported a recommendation that the National Code of Practice be amended to apply to the manufacture and use of all pre-cast concrete elements.

Catch Words : Anchor Pin and Lifting Clutch System : Regulation of Precast Concrete Elements in Building Construction : AS 3850:2015 : Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1984 :  National Code of Practice for Precast, Tilt-up and Concrete Elements in Building Construction  :  Accident 

Last updated: 15-Jun-2017

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