InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism


New RAH death: Coroner recommends national standards for scissor lifts


Scissor lifts should not be operated unless there is a person on the ground acting as a safety spotter, South Australia’s state coroner has recommended in response to the death of a worker during the construction of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Comments Print article

Jorge Castillo-Riffo, 54, was working alone when he was crushed between a scissor lift and the slab of the floor above at the new RAH site in 2014.

He later died of catastrophic brain injuries.

In findings delivered today, Coroner Mark Johns recommended that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) investigate the standardisation of controls in scissor lifts.

He also recommended that, until that standardisation is in place, scissor lifts should not be operated unless there is a spotter on the ground to activate the emergency lowering mechanism.

During the inquest, Castillo-Riffo’s partner, Pam Gurner-Hall, said he was concerned about safety practices during construction.

“Specifically he talked to me about the lack of knowledge in regards to how this scissor lift was going to be used and he spoke to me of some issues that he’d witnessed on the site,” she said.

Gurner-Hall said the lift had several design flaws, was inappropriate for the space and should not have been used by a lone worker.

It is unclear exactly how much time passed between the time Castillo-Riffo was crushed and the time he was found by a passing worker.

The inquest heard the rescue effort was further delayed when the worker was unable to hit the emergency release button.

Johns found the work method was not safe because the safety lowering lever was located in a position that was “very difficult” to access by any rescuer.


Make a comment View comment guidelines

Local News Matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.

Donate today
Powered by PressPatron


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More News stories

Loading next article