Following an excavation collapse which left one 17 year old apprentice plumber with life-threatening injuries, a Victorian construction company has been convicted and fined $80,000 and ordered to pay costs of $3,505.
The young apprentice had only been on the job for 18 days when he suffered collapsed lungs, 12 broken ribs, a fractured sternum, damage to his pancreas and a fractured shoulder after being partially engulfed when the excavation collapsed.
The court heard that the construction firm had been advised in a geotechnical report that the site was at a high risk of abnormal moisture conditions and that attention should have been given to ensure changes that soil moisture did not develop during construction. The company failed to do so, with the site having received 17mm of rain in the days leading up to the excavation collapse.
The company should have assessed the soil conditions properly and prevented the contractors from accessing the site until the wall was stabilised, the court heard.
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