PROPERTY developer Grocon and a sign firm have been charged with the deaths of the three victims crushed in last year’s wall collapse along Swanston Street. Tara Jade Amici reports.
Following the wall collapse that caused the deaths of an international researcher and two teenagers in March last year, Melbourne building company Grocon and a small signage firm are now facing $6 million in fines.
The Herald Sun reported that News Limited had viewed the charge sheets, which allege that these companies failed to protect the lives of Bridget and Alexander Jones and French researcher Dr Marie-Faith Fiawoo, who was working at Monash University.
“The attachment of the hoarding to the wall was unsafe. It was reasonably practicable for Grocon Pty Limited to have eliminated or reduced the risk to the health and safety of persons in the vicinity of the wall and hoarding,” the charge sheets allege, according to the Herald Sun.
Grocon’s Executive Chairman, Daniel Grollo, has released a statement in response to the WorkSafe Notice.
It states, “We acknowledge the action taken by WorkSafe given the tragic consequences of last year’s wall collapse and the broad obligations that apply under the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act.”
“We don’t yet know the specific detail of what is alleged against Grocon or the Melbourne signage company responsible for erecting the advertisement sign on the wall so we need to await further details and legal analysis before we can properly respond.”
In addition, the documents filed by WorkSafe inspector Brandon Johnson state that Grocon had eight key failings against them.
Mr Grollo has said the company’s, “thoughts and sympathies are with the families who so tragically lost their loved ones.”
A two week inquest into the fatal wall collapse has been set for June 2014.