John Holland crane falls on WA BHP site

by 29 Jan 2010

Three recent crane collapses in Western Australia have sparked calls for mining and construction giants to focus on safety.

The latest incident occurred at BHP’s Worsley Alumina Refinery project on 13 January when a 330-tonne crane on a John Holland construction project collapsed during load testing. Personnel were not injured but fled from the falling machinery at BHP’s “Efficiency & Growth Project: Facility 50”, according to an incident report by the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU).

The crane has been issued a prohibition notice by the WA Department of Mines (DoM), however the union is concerned that workers were sent back to the site only a day after the incident.

“It’s all about production, not safety,” said CFMEU organiser for the South West, Troy Smart, adding that BHP Billiton and John Holland should be made accountable for the equipment failure.

Occupational health and safety officers have been invited by the DoM to participate in the investigation.

Two separate crane incidents have occurred in the past month, one in Perth, where a crane knocked down street power lines.