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                        2 min read

                        Company charged after alleged crane collapse


                        A company has been charged after a mobile crane reportedly collapsed in Victoria.

                        Sergi Australia Pty Ltd has been charged with two breaches of section 26(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 as a result of the alleged incident back in July 2021.

                        It’s understood the company supplied a mobile crane to a Parkville construction site where the pendant ropes used to manipulate an attached luffing jib failed while lifting. It’s alleged the pendant ropes were not in a serviceable condition, which failed to ensure a safe work environment, and exposed workers to a risk of serious injury or death.

                        The matter is now before the courts.


                        What is section 26(1) of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act?

                        Section 26(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 comes under Division 5 - Duties of other persons. It states:

                        A person who (whether as an owner or otherwise) has, to any extent, the management of control of a workplace must ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that the workplace and the means of entering and leaving it are safe and without risks to health.

                        In this case, Sergi supplied a crane to the workplace concerned and as a consequence had an obligation to ensure that all aspects of the work being conducted are safe for workers and members of the general public.


                        What about the legislation in force across other jurisdictions?

                        While the same section and definitions don’t exist in the harmonised legislation that is in force across many other jurisdictions, there are other components that essentially have the same meaning, and require similar compliance.

                        Division 3 - Further duties of persons conducting businesses or undertakings of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Section 21(2) states:

                        The person with management or control of fixtures, fittings or plant at a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the fixtures, fittings and plant are without risk to the health and safety of any person.

                        This section essentially states that anyone providing machinery, or other fixtures and fittings, to a work environment, must ensure it won’t risk the safety of workers and others in the vicinity of the workplace. If anything, it is probably clearer from a machinery owner/supplier obligations point of view than the Victorian legislation.


                        What can I do to ensure the safety of workers using machinery?

                        There are a number of measures that you can take to ensure the safety of your company’s machinery, and ensure you’re complying with the legislation relevant in your jurisdiction. 

                        These measures form part of your safe system of work for machinery. We have developed the machinery safety system health check to assist those involved with machinery in workplaces to help understand what a good machinery safety system looks like and where they may have gaps. 

                        The machinery safety health check covers:

                        • Machinery pre-start checks.
                        • Service scheduling and record keeping.
                        • Information management and sharing.
                        • Periodic machinery inspections and risk assessments.
                        • Contractor compliance management.
                        • Operator competency.

                        If you would like to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current machinery safety system, take Plant Assessor’s Machinery Safety System Health Check. You will receive a personalised report with recommendations on how to improve your processes to boost machinery compliance and safety at your workplace.


                        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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