Concrete pump operator fined $375,000 in relation to workplace fatality

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Tuesday, 21 April, 2020 - 16:00
Incidents & prosecutions
New South Wales

A Sydney concrete pumping company has been fined $375,000 by the NSW District Court while its director has been fined $10,000 after a worker sustained fatal head injuries when he was struck by an unsecured hose attached to concrete pumping equipment at a Fairfield building site.

The District Court also ordered the director to undertake due diligence and risk management training conducted by a Registered Training Organisation.

The incident occurred when compressed air was used to clear a blockage from a concrete pump hose, which whipped under pressure and a metal coupling struck the worker in the head, said executive director of investigations and enforcement for SafeWork NSW, Valerie Griswold.

“NonAbel Concrete Pump Pty Limited pleaded guilty to an offence under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 where it failed in to comply with its duty and exposed the victim to a risk of death or serious injury contrary to section 32 of the Act,” Griswold said.

“Mr Bilal Hamdan, the sole director of NonAbel, also pleaded guilty to an offence under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing to exercise due diligence to ensure NonAbel complied with its duty.”

The worker was in Australia on a bridging visa and had only been employed by NonAbel for between three and seven days before the incident.

NonAbel’s Safe Work Method Statement made it necessary to follow the concrete pump manufacturer’s instructions, which specifically stated that operators should never attempt to blast out blockages with compressed air as there is a lethal danger as the delivery line might burst.

In sentencing for the offence, the court noted that Hamdan, had personally and also on behalf of NonAbel, acknowledged that he and the company failed to comply with the duty to ensure the health and safety of its workers.

NonAbel Concrete Pump Pty Limited and Hamdan has the right to lodge an appeal.