The consequences of failing to heed advice and recommendations has been highlighted by the conviction and fining of a construction company in Victoria who failed to heed to advice of a geotechnical report.
The company received a fine of $80,000 and were ordered to pay costs of $3,505 after an excavation collapse resulted in serious injuries for a young apprentice plumber working on the site.
The 17 year old apprentice had been on the job for only 18 days when the incident occurred. He and 2 other contractors had been installing pump tanks 2 metres away from an excavated basement wall when it collapsed. The apprentice was partially engulfed and suffered life-threatening injuries include collapsed lungs, 12 broken ribs, a fractured sternum, damage to his pancreas and a fractured shoulder.
The geotechnical report had identified the site as being at high risk of abnormal moisture conditions and advised that attention be given ensuring changes in soil moisture do not develop during construction.
The court heard that during the days prior to the incident, the site received approximately 17mm of rain.
It also heard that the company should have supervised the contractors, preventing them from entering the site until the soil had been assessed and the wall stabilised.