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Court Summary - at a glance
- To have identified the front face of the trench as a hazard;
- To have ensured that a specific job safety analysis was prepared and completed in collaboration with the principal contractor, prior to the commencement of installation work;
- To have ensured that a safe work methodology was prepared, used and communicated to workers prior to the work commencing;
- To have ensured that the front face of the trench was adequately benched, battered, shored or deemed safe by a competent person or registered engineer;
- To have ensured that the workers in the area were in safe positions;
- To ensure that the excavator did not approach closer than 600mm from the edge of the excavation.
On 22 July 2013, the victim, an employee of the Defendant, was assisting in laying a storm water pipe in a 5.5m deep trench. At the time of the incident, the victim was crouched at the bottom of the trench ensuring that the pipe that was being installed was properly aligned. He was facing the pipe with his back towards the front face of the trench. An excavator was positioned approximately 50 to 200mm from the edge of the front face of the trench with its arm extended adjusting the pipe into position. Whilst this operation was in progress, part of the front face collapsed knocking the victim to the ground in such a way that his head and chest fell into the pipe.
The victim suffered crush injuries to his pelvis.