Robert Sergi Bridge Collapse


A discussion of some of the impacts of the collapse of the Robert Sergi Bridge.


On October 8th, 2000 the Robert Sergi Bridge collapsed. This case study from the building industry had an impact well beyond the death and injuries caused by the accident.

As a part of the upgrading of the Princes Highway in Geelong, Roberti Sergi was standing an approximately 70 tonne concrete girder, a component of the railway bridge which would be posthumously named after him, when support structures failed and the girder fell onto the railway line, killing him and injuring four others.

The contractor was found to have breached occupational health and safety laws during the work, with five workers not wearing safety harnesses when the girders were delivered and placed in the wrong order.

In addition to multiple fines and compensation, Judge Peter Gebhardt of the Geelong County Court ordered the directors of the contractor to meet Victorian Worksafe on a regular basis to discuss occupational health and safety, and that these meetings must be reported upon in its annual report.

Warning:

The imposition of conditions on directors has made it clear that responsibility does not only lie with those immediately involved with an accident.