A crane operator in Australia has been given a suspended prison sentence following a fatal crane incident in 2016.
The man, Michael Watts, pleaded guilty to breaching safe working practices which caused his articulated mobile crane to overturn on the construction site of a new hospital building at the University of Canberra, killing Herman Holtz, 62, on the 4th August 2016 click here for (‘Fatal Canberra crane overturn’).
The court heard of a number of safety errors leading up to the incident, including poor rigging and lighting and uneven terrain. It was also told that Watts overrode the crane’s overload warning alarm while pick & carrying an 11 tonne generator across the uneven site, resulting it its overturn. He was given a one year suspended sentence.
Evidence given during the trial suggested that Watts had warned against the fatal manoeuvre but was pressured into going ahead. We understand that a number of other charges are due to be heard, including against the construction company. The new building was designed and built by Brookfield Multiplex.