Engineering company fined $200,000 over dangerous demolition advice

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Tuesday, 26 May, 2020 - 19:00
Incidents & prosecutions
New South Wales

An engineering company in NSW has been fined $200,000 following the dangerous and unplanned collapse of the former Sydney Entertainment Centre’s roof during demolition.

Grasso Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd and its Director, Ignazio Grasso, provided inadequate advice to the high-risk demolition project, and by doing so failed to comply with their duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

“Construction and demolition workers rely on the advice provided by engineers for their safety,” said NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson.

“The risks could have been minimised, if not eliminated, with proper analysis, planning and communication by the Engineer.”

Prior to giving the demolition advice, Grasso failed to undertake relevant calculations or computer modelling to assess the risk of unplanned structural collapse of the roof, instead relying solely on fallible engineering judgment.

Once the demolition work began, the roof unexpectedly collapsed, crushing an excavator and trapping a worker inside.

The NSW Government is progressing tough new workplace safety laws that can result in jail terms for people who put workers at risk of serious injury or death, said Minister Anderson.

Grasso Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd and Ignazio Grasso have the right to appeal the judgement.