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$200K fine for dangerous demolition advice

22 May 2020

An engineering company has been fined $200,000 following the dangerous and unplanned collapse of the former Sydney Entertainment Centre’s roof during demolition. 

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said Grasso Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd and its Director, Ignazio Grasso, provided inadequate advice to the high-risk demolition project, and by doing so failed to comply with their duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.  
 
“Construction and demolition workers rely on the advice provided by engineers for their safety,” Mr Anderson said.  
 
“The risks could have been minimised, if not eliminated, with proper analysis, planning and communication by the Engineer.” 
 
Prior to giving the demolition advice, Mr Grasso failed to undertake relevant calculations or computer modelling to assess the risk of unplanned structural collapse of the roof, instead relying solely on fallible engineering judgment. 
 
Once the demolition work began, the roof unexpectedly collapsed, crushing an excavator and trapping a worker inside. 
 
“SafeWork will not hesitate to take legal action against those who don’t comply with work health and safety laws. Everyone has the right to return home to their families at the end of the day, and those who cut corners will be prosecuted,” Mr Anderson said. 
 
The NSW Government is progressing tough new workplace safety laws that can result in jail terms for people who put workers at risk of serious injury or death.  
 
“A bi-partisan parliamentary committee recently endorsed the NSW Government’s proposed new laws and I urge Labor and the Greens to put workers safety before politics and support the current Bill when Parliament returns,” Mr Anderson concluded.  
 
Grasso Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd and Ignazio Grasso have the right to appeal the judgement. 

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