Brisbane building firm hit with $400k fine over Eagle Farm racecourse deaths
A Brisbane construction company has been fined $405,000 over the deaths of two workers who were crushed by a concrete slab at Eagle Farm Racecourse in October 2016.
Ashley Morris, 34, and Humberto Leite, 55, died instantly when two concrete slabs toppled over at the worksite during the construction of a foul-water drainage tank.
The company in charge of the site, Criscon, was charged with failing to comply with health and safety regulations.
Criscon pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.
After the incident, it was revealed workers had walked off the job days earlier over safety concerns at the site.
A sewage pipe was used as makeshift bracing for 14-tonne concrete panels that formed the walls for a foul-water drainage tank, the court heard on Tuesday.
Magistrate Wendy Cull told the court: “This was not a technical oversight.”
“There was an obvious lack of bracing and no designated Criscon worker to identify that,” she said.
“The lack of escape route was worse than careless. There was no planning.”
Outside court, Mr Morris’ de facto partner Louisa Wilson said she was disappointed the fine was not higher.
“We would have like to have seen probably a heftier punishment. We have to just cope with that,” Ms Wilson said.
The subcontractor in control of the site, Claudio D’Alessandro, is facing separate manslaughter charges under the criminal code.
In 2016, his lawyer said he would be fighting the charges.
Criscon site manager Michael Crisci is also facing charges under the Work Health and Safety Act.
Both men are due to face court later this month.