A coronial inquest into a worker’s scissor lift death in 2014 heard that safety inspectors compromised their investigation by delaying examination of the site and interviewing witnesses.
The 54-year-old worker was working alone when he was crushed between a scissor lift and a concrete slab above. He died of head, neck and back injuries (read SafetyCulture report).
According to the ABC, a senior work health and safety inspector was assigned in November 2016 to prepare a case against the contractors building the hospital where the incident happened. The court heard that the inspector only became aware of the shortcomings in the initial investigation two years after the incident.
According to an investigation, the safety inspectors were not available on the day of the worker’s death and did not attend until the following day when the scissor lift had been removed and the site returned to business as usual.
The court also heard that the scissor lift was left outside the police compound and by the time inspectors checked the machine, it had rusted. Inspectors also failed to talk to witnesses at the construction site, take adequate photos and failed to compile an investigation plan as required.
The prosecution of the worker’s employers was dropped in 2017, just three days before the trial was to commence.