The prosecution followed the death of Christos Binos, at a construction site in Hogan St, Pakenham. WorkSafe Victoria did not allege that Huntingdale had been responsible for Binos’s death, but said that it had failed to follow proper safety practice.

Huntingdale faced charges under Sections 21 and 23 of Victoria’s Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, relating to its responsibility to provide a safe workplace for its employees and not to expose other people to risk. WorkSafe Victoria highlighted the requirement that employers must ‘provide or maintain plant or systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health’.

Judge Philip Coish was told that Huntingdale had not checked to ensure locating pins were fitted under a concrete panel its crane had lifted into position. The crane company had not ensured steel support bracing on the panels were correctly positioned and locked into position in accordance with the industry standard for precast and tilt up concrete for buildings.

The concrete panel fell when the steel braces fitted to provide support were removed. Reservoir man, Christos Binos died when he was hit by the panel.

Huntingdale pleaded guilty. Judge Coish said that the safety failings were serious and despite company concerns about the effect of a conviction on its obtaining future contracts, a conviction was warranted to ensure others ensured safety requirements were met.


May 27 update: This article initially gave the name of the company involved incorrectly, as Huntingdon. Thanks to WorkSafe Victoria for pointing out the error.