Easy OHS

Massive fine for Cross City Tunnel Death

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On the 24th July 2009 the NSW Industrial Relations Court found Biflinder Berger AG, Baulderstone Hornibrook Pty Ltd and Cross City Tunnel Pty Limited guilty over the death of a worker, Ronald Shores who was crushed during a rockfall in the tunnel during construction work in 2004. 

The three defendants were fined a total of $841,612 in relation to workplace safety breaches, which included inadequate overhead fall protection and ground support systems.

The Court used independent experts to examine in detail the adequacy of risk assessments and controls through various phases of the cross city tunnel project including design and contruction.    

This case highlighted the fact that the controls that were used to protect the workers were inadequate for the level of risk associated with the activity being undertaken.  It was also clear from expert witnesses that the potential for rockfall was reasonably foreseeable.

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