The company has been fined after a man was killed in a fatal accident at work dismantling the old Murray-Goulburn cheese factory in Victoria

An engineering firm has been fined $250,000 after a worker was killed demolishing a former Victorian cheese factory.

Glen Parsons died when he was crushed by a 770kg condenser at the old Murray Goulburn cheese factory in Leitchville, north Victoria, in December 2017.

After the factory was bought by a New Zealand company in 2017, the equipment was loaded into a shipping container for transport.

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By the end of November, only a handful of people from A1 Engineering were still working at the site, and Parsons was the longest-serving employee.

Construction manager Andrew Buchanan had to return to New Zealand for family reasons after the project was completed, but was hoping to be back by December 5th.

He couldn’t return as planned.

Parsons was not well and did not arrive until late on December 6th.

He spoke to Buchanan on the phone and they discussed loading equipment into containers.

An attempt was made to transport the heavy condenser into a closed shipping container, but its size and shape made the task difficult.

A hydraulic jack and wooden plank plan was devised, but it was flawed from the start, said Circuit Court Judge Damian Murphy.

“Although Mr Parsons was a skilled boilermaker and a very experienced and respected employee, he was left without any supervision,” the judge said.

The task was fraught with risk and required dog-handling and construction skills that neither Parsons nor the other man possessed.

Parsons had asked his colleague for a hammer so he could remove the skates from under the condenser and move it off the jack and into the bin.

But it hit Parsons and the other man, who suffered nonfatal crush injuries.

A jury found A1 Engineering guilty of a charge because it should have ensured there was a supervisor directly supervising the men.

The court was acquitted of three other charges related to occupational health and safety.

Parsons’ wife Jan said she didn’t blame anyone for his death and hoped the conclusion of the court cases would allow her to live her life fully again.

“It really is your worst nightmare when the man you adore and love doesn’t come home from work,” she said.

Andrew Buchanan Engineering, the company owned by Buchanan, was fined $300,000 after pleading guilty to its part in Parsons’ death.

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James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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