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Company fined after worker crushed to death by 9000kg steel beam

Company fined after worker crushed to death by 9000kg steel beam

The horrific incident took place three years ago

A company has been hit with a huge fine after one of their employees was crushed to death.

Mishaal Prasad, 35, was killed while working as a boilermaker on the Sydney worksite of MHE-Demag Australia Pty Ltd.

Prasad was one of two workers moving an almost-9000kg steal beam using an overhead crane in July 2020.

He was tragically killed when the beam fell on top of him.

MHE-Demag Australia, who Prasad had been on placement with, plead guilty to failing to comply with health and safety duty.

Ambulance at the scene of the incident in July 2020.

The company was responsible for designing and maintaining a range of mechanical equipment, including cranes.

One of Prasad's tasks was fabricating steel structures.

On the day of the incident, Prasad had been working on grinding the sharp edges of two beams - both of which measured 29m in length and weighed 8979kg.

During the sentencing of the company on Tuesday (18 July), District Court Judge Andrew Scotting said: "Mr Prasad completed grinding the edges off on one side of the girders and was about to commence grinding the edges off on the other side.

"Before this could be done, it was necessary to turn the grinders over."

When Prasad and his co-worker were turning the beam over using the crane, it became unstable.

The 35-year-old was standing between the two beams when the first one dropped on top of him.

As the first beam fell down, it made contact with the second grinder, bringing it down as well.

Prasad's colleague desperately tried to use the overhead crane to move the beams off Prasad but was unsuccessful.

As a result of the horrific accident, Prasad sustained serious injuries to his chest and legs.

Despite being treated at the scene by paramedics, he passed away shortly after.

Mishaal Prasad was killed in the horrific accident.

SafeWork NSW investigated the incident and MHE-Demag Australia was charged.

The company did have a risk management system in place but this didn't go far enough in the judge's estimation.

Judge Scotting said: "The offender did not have a separate, documented system of work in place at the time of the incident that related exclusively to the work that was being performed by Mr Prasad."

The risk posed by the beams was known to the company, Judge Scotting said.

He said: "The likelihood of the risk coming home was moderate. The steps taken prior to the incident were not sufficient to prevent it.

"The consequences of the risk included the risk of death to potentially more than one worker.

"The identified steps were relatively inexpensive and could have been implemented with minimal inconvenience to the offender.

"The community is entitled to expect that both small and large employers will comply with safety requirements."

MHE-Demag Australia, who have since ceased trading, were fined $525,000.

In the wake of Prasad's death, the company offered to pay the cost of his funeral.

A mass was held on the site to mark the first anniversary of his passing, and a memorial bench was placed in front of the main manufacturing workshop.

UNILAD has contacted MHE-Demag for comment.

Featured Image Credit: 7News

Topics: Australia, World News