Risk Management:Coroner Told Wall Collapse Inquest May Take Years

The Victorian Coroners Court has been informed that potential criminal charges over the deadly Melbourne wall collapse may delay inquests for several years.

A brother and sister,  Alexander and Bridget Jones and French national Marie Faith Fiawoo were  all killed  as a result of the collapsing wall from March’s high winds. 

Coroner Ian Gray confirmed in a hearing that there may be delays but he remains confident that an inquest may occur at the same time as other court proceedings

 Fiawoo’s family lawyer raised concerns that any delays in the inquiry may cause undue stress for the families. 

Another lawyer, William Southey believes the delay should be be minimised.

“Delays in cases like this can sometimes be unavoidable,” he said.

“We just hope, on behalf of both families, that the delay will be minimised to the greatest possible extent.

“And we are confident that the state coroner will do his very best to ensure that that’s done.”

An inquest brief is being prepared for the coroner which analyze the the history of the wall, regulations around hoarding attached to the wall and conditions on the day of the collapse.

Construction giant Grocon and Worksafe are also running separate investigations.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-23/victorian-coroner-says-wall-collapse-inquest-may-be-delayed-for/4708322?section=vic 

Coles Supermarket Receives $170,000 Fine and Pays Fees

Risk Management trainingSupermarket king Coles, received a fine of $170,000 and told to pay legal fees when a worker fell through a ceiling at a branch in Sydney half a decade ago.

The worker scaled a guard rail in order to obtain promotional material stored on a suspended plasterboard ceiling in August 2007. The ceiling collapsed and she crashed over two metres to the ground which left her with cuts to her head, whiplash and bruises.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Coles in fact knew the area was dangerous to use as a roof cavity for storage and had even built a railing and posted a caution sign.

However, WorkCover disclosed that Coles management had not undergone a risk assessment to determine how much weight the plasterboard could stand, and failed to inform staff of the risks of accessing the area.

Coles was fined on behalf of the Industrial Court of NSW and told to cover WorkCover’s legal costs.

WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety general manager, John Watson stated that since the company employed over 23,000 people in 238 stores across NSW, the safety procedures of the company are important to a significant number of people.

Watson also stated that the area should not have ever been permitted for storage of merchandise and management was responsible for being vigilant. He added, saying that despite management being aware of the dangerous nature of the area, the area was still used without any proper training.

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Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/coles-fined-170000-over-workers-fall-through-ceiling/story-e6frf7kf-1226340693166

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