Bricklaying company fined $600k over crushed worker

A company has been fined after a brickie was crushed under a collapsing staircase in 2019, causing serious injuries.

A bricklaying company has been fined $600k after one of its workers was crushed beneath a concrete staircase.

The Swinging Bricklayers Pty Ltd brickie, aged in his 20s, was working on the construction of a school in the outer-northern Perth suburb of Alkimos in April 2019 when he was seriously injured.

He and another bricklayer were tasked with building load-bearing brick walls beneath two concrete staircases; steel props had been set-up under the staircases while the concrete hardened.

The pair removed the steel props, causing one of the staircases to collapse onto the brickie and trap him.

An excavator had to be used to free the man, who suffered a crushed pelvis and serious internal injuries, causing him ongoing health issues.

Swinging Bricklayers was convicted in absentia in Perth Magistrates Court last week, and has been fined $600k, as well as being forced to pay $5000 in court costs.

WorkSafe Commissioner Darren Kavanagh blamed a lack of communication.

“Swinging Bricklayers knew of the hazard involved in removing the props from under the staircase but did not at any stage act to ensure the workers were not exposed to that hazard,” Mr Kavanagh said on Wednesday.

“The bricklayers had little or no experience of working with staircases built in-situ, and were never warned not to move the props because they were holding up the stairs – an omission that proved to be devastating for the injured worker.”

Merym Pty Ltd – trading as EMCO Building – was the main contractor for the project; it has also been prosecuted over the incident and will go to trial in late July.

Source: Sky News

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