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Call for crane audit after Melbourne death

by admin on 17/12/2018

The construction union is calling for safety inspections of dozens of cranes across Victorian worksites following the death of a man in Melbourne’s east.
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The 46-year-old died after he and a co-worker were submerged in concrete which fell from a crane at a Box Hill construction site on Thursday afternoon.

The other man, 28, remains in the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition.

The CFMEU’s Gerard Ayers has called for the operator of the crane, Clark Cranes, to suspend the operation of between 80 and 100 cranes at Victorian worksites until they are audited.

“We’re calling for a thorough, comprehensive inspection to make sure all of those Clark Cranes are operating to their manufacturers’ specifications before they recommence work,” Dr Ayers told AAP on Friday.

‘We hear this all the time … that there are mechanical issues with different cranes.

“We suspect that this crane might also have some mechanical faults that are also recorded in the log book.”

The CFMEU says Clark Cranes was also involved in a crane collapse at Richmond in July.

Clark Cranes declined to comment when contacted by AAP.

The mother of the 46-year-old worker killed on Thursday was “extremely traumatised,” Dr Ayers told reporters. The man was not married and did not have children.

The union says he’s the seventh person to have died on a Victorian construction site this year.

“We cannot continue the way we are; we have to take a deep breath, slow down and look at how we are doing the work,” Dr Ayers said.

A third man suffered minor injuries in Thursday’s incident, while counselling has been organised for workers who were at the site and those nearby who rushed to assist.

WorkSafe investigators were at the scene on Friday investigating the crane and other work systems.

“Cranes are complex, so there is a lot of careful work required to determine the cause of this tragic incident,” acting health and safety executive director Paul Fowler said.

In a separate incident on Thursday, a woman in her 40s died after being run over by a prime mover loaded with an excavator at Donvale.

There have been 18 workplace fatalities in the state this year, WorkSafe says.

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