Every crane in Victoria could be checked after Box Hill construction site death

Emergency service workers survey the accident scene at a construction site in Box Hill on September 6.

Emergency service workers survey the accident scene at a construction site in Box Hill on September 6. Photo: AAP

Every crane in Victoria could be checked after a key part was likely to have contributed to the death of a construction worker last week.

Shaun Burns, in his late 40s, died after he and a co-worker were submerged in concrete that fell from a crane at a Box Hill construction site on Thursday afternoon.

He was remembered as a “kind and generous person” by friends at the Kilmore Field & Game Facebook page.

“Your laugh, smile, friendship, a joke or two. That’s the way we will remember you Burnso,” one wrote.

The other construction worker, in his 20s, sustained life-threatening injuries and remains in a serious condition in hospital.

A third man suffered non-life-threatening injuries when a kibble carrying the concrete fell from a Raimondi hammerhead tower crane and struck the trio.

crane death shaun burns box hill

The 46-year-old has been identified on social media as Shaun Burns. Photo: Kilmore Field & Game/Facebook

Preliminary results of a WorkSafe investigation found a suspected failure or malfunction of the hoist rope termination assembly – a key component on most cranes, also known as the wedge socket ­­– is likely to have contributed to the incident.

WorkSafe acting executive director of Health and Safety Paul Fowler said Thursday’s tragic incident was serious enough to warrant checks on all cranes.

”The component which we believe contributed to this incident is an integral part of the hoist rope system on most cranes,” Mr Fowler said.

“While there is no reason at this point to suggest this may be faulty on any other crane, a tragic incident such as the one which occurred on Thursday should prompt all crane owners and operators to inspect each and every crane in the state.

“It is essential that all hoist-rope termination assemblies are inspected to ensure they are appropriately installed, compliant and functioning according to manufacturer’s specifications.”

The company issued a cease work on all its 65 operating Raimondi cranes until a safety audit has been finalised.

An independent expert engaged by WorkSafe will oversee the audit.

WorkSafe notified Clark Cranes of its findings on Friday, along with OHS regulators in other states.

“We have been liaising with crane and construction industry groups, and interstate regulators, about this issue since Friday,” Mr Fowler said.

Mr Fowler said companies operating cranes need to review their work systems so – as far as reasonably practicable – loads do not travel over or are suspended above workers.

Crane operators and owners unsure about the safety of a crane component should seek specialist advice.

The CFMEU says Clark Cranes was also involved in a crane collapse at Richmond in July.

-with AAP

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