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Court summaries

WorkSafe Tasmania actively enforces the law, prosecuting alleged offenders under the prosecutions framework.

Where there has been a successful prosecution but an order was made that no conviction was to be recorded, we have removed information from the court summary to avoid breach of the court's order and infringement of the Sentencing Act 1997.

Crane company convicted and fined, crane driver receives suspended jail sentence

May 2020

Pfeiffer Cranes Pty Ltd and one of its crane drivers, Glenn Gault, were prosecuted after Gault’s negligence caused a 1.9 tonne load of plaster to fall onto an Island Block and Paving Pty Ltd worker, causing serious injuries.

Pfeiffer Cranes was fined $50,000 and convicted and Gault received a 6 month suspended jail sentence.

The incident

On 7 April 2017, a worker of Island Block and Paving was working with a builder on a construction site in Trevallyn. A crane was being used to lift pallets of plaster to the first floor of the building under construction. The lifting was complicated when the builder asked the plaster to be placed further away from the crane.

The crane has a safety system stopping the crane from moving when it senses it has reached 75% of capacity. When the crane reaches 100% of its capacity, alarms and lights also sound, which are visible both inside and outside of the crane.

The crane driver Gault overrode the safety system. On the fourth lift, while the load was being extended, the weight of the load caused the crane to fail and the boom to collapse, trapping the worker under the load. He sustained serious injuries.

A WorkSafe Tasmania investigation found the manual override had been used on more than 100 prior occasions.

The charges

Pfeiffer Cranes Pty Ltd was charged with:

  • one count of failing to comply with health and safety duty: Category 2 contrary to Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012
  • one count of failing to comply with health and safety duty: Category 3 contrary to Section 33 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

Glenn Gault was charged with:

  • one count of failing to comply with health and safety duty: Category 1 contrary to Section 31 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012
  • one count of failing to comply with health and safety duty: Category 2 contrary to Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.
Updated: 25th May 2020