$133,000 fine for demolition company after falling ramp injures worker


$133,000 fine for demolition company after falling ramp injures worker

Matt Turner | Managing Director


A worker was seriously injured by the falling ramp of a low loader trailer. After being found guilty of failing to ensure a safe system of work, the demolition company responsible was fined $133,000

In March 2019, a worker was working inside the drop zone of the ramps of a low loader trailer. The hydraulic system failed, causing the ramp to fall suddenly, crushing the worker.

He suffered major injuries – including serious fractures to his spine, pelvis, ribs and legs – as well as cuts across his body.

An investigation was conducted by SafeWork SA, which found that a sufficient assessment of risks had not been undertaken – nor control measures put in place to eliminate or minimise hazards.

The report mentioned a simple and inexpensive stop or burst control valve in the hydraulic lines could have ensured that a sudden loss of pressure would not have occurred, and would have prevented the 230kg ramp from falling.

Furthermore considerable damage to the tie down apparatus was identified, and that it was not compliant with the relevant Australian Standard.

Ultimately, it was the conclusion of SafeWork SA that the incident could have been completely avoided if a sufficient risk assessment process had been implemented.

In response to the investigation, the demolition company was found guilty of breaching their duty of care under section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA). They were charged with exposing a worker to risk of serious injury or death, failing to provide and maintain plant in a safe condition, and failing to provide a safe system of work.

The company pleaded guilty, and was fined $133,000 plus costs.

Remarking on the charges, SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Cambell, said ‘there is no excuse for failing to conduct any form of risk assessment, adding that the demolition company could have easily eliminated the risk if it had completed a risk assessment. “Every worker deserves to go to work and return home safely.”’

Don’t take the risk

Ensuring your machinery and equipment is compliant is not only your legal obligation – it’s also potentially life saving. 

It doesn’t have to be time intensive or complicated to ensure your fleet is safe.To help you evaluate your safety systems and processes, we’ve developed a free tool.

The Machinery Safety System Health Check – which will help you:

  • Identify gaps in your safety systems
  • Diagnose your level of compliance
  • Know how to improve your systems
  • Prevent tragic incidents like the one above


Don’t risk it. Use our Machinery Safety System Health Check today.


We’re here to help

At Plant Assessor, we’re standing by to help. We’re experts in machinery safety and compliance and can guide you through setting up your safety systems, ensure you’re meeting legislative requirements, and help you take complete control of your compliance.

Chat to one of our experts today. Call 1300 728 852 or email info@assessor.com.au

Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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