Truss maker slapped with $200k fine after death on site

Melbourne Truss has received a $200,000 fine following a fatal incident caused by unsafe work practices.

The timber truss manufacturer received the fine, and was ordered to pay $11,234 in costs, after it pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to ensure a workplace under its control was safe and without risks to health.

The initial incident occurred in March 2020, at a Point Cook construction site east of Melbourne.

Melbourne Truss workers were unloading prefabricated timber floor trusses onto a concrete slab of a townhouse using a vehicle-mounted crane, with the crane operator standing on the delivery truck tray and their assistant on the slab.

During unloading, trusses being lifted by the crane made contact with a steel structure, knocking it forwards and striking the crane operator’s assistant in the face. The worker then fell backwards and struck his head on the concrete slab. He died at the scene.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said the death was entirely preventable.

“This tragedy is a stark reminder for every employer using cranes to ensure safety is the first priority each and every time a load is lifted,” Dr Beer said.

“Cranes and lifting equipment are an essential part of the daily work for many industries but work involving cranes is high risk and must be treated with the utmost care and caution.”



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