Wednesday 09 January 2019

Company charged over trench collapse deaths

A civil construction company has been charged by WorkSafe Victoria following the death of two workers after a trench collapsed in Ballarat in March 2018.

The men were laying pipe at the Winterfield Estate housing development in the Ballarat suburb of Delacombe on March 21 when the trench collapsed.

A 34-year-old died at the scene and a 21-year-old died in hospital the following day.

Following a comprehensive investigation by WorkSafe, Ballarat company Pipecon Pty Ltd was charged with two breaches of section 21of the Occupational Health and Safety Act:

• Failing to maintain battering or benching of the excavation and to use trench shields and manhole cages to protect the workers from the risk of engulfment.

• Failing to provide supervision to ensure its employees did not perform work in the trench without battering, benching, trench shields or manhole cages.

The matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on 4 February 2019.

Further Information

WorkSafe media enquiries: Peter Mickelburough: 0478 333 556, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR Jeremy Venosta: 0466 733 523, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email info@worksafe.vic.gov.au or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.