wayno wrote:the cave creek platform was professionally designed with plans and was up to the specifications required to support the no's of people that were on it when it collapsed.
Not exactly. If builders had stuck to the design then it mightn't have collapsed, but the Commission of Inquiry still found that it hadn't originally been designed by an appropriately qualified engineer. There hadn't been any geotechnical report undertaken on the site, despite the height and gradient of the cliff which meant it definitely should have been, and design documents weren't suitably specific.
The platform was a small part of a larger track building project. It hadn't been identified in the wider picture as a safety-critical thing, and it was really only after all of the original design failures that the design documents were lost and the platform was built on-site by ad-hoc work parties pulled together with the intent of just getting the entire task done, of which the platform was only seen as one feature. Nobody was clear about who was responsible or in charge of the project, they weren't aware a formal design even existed, and they missed out vital components from the original design... including a 7 metre section of steel that'd been meant to attach the platform to a concrete counter-weight. Then, afterwards, when local DOC staff realised proper legal consent hadn't been obtained under the law and that it hadn't been built to the design on file, they needed plans of the actual
construction before they could even apply for a building permit retrospectively. They had a volunteer German exchange student, who was handy in the local conservancy at the time, reverse engineer the design, who presumably assumed it'd been built with some level of competence in the non-visible areas and got it wrong. In the end there was no application anyway, so there was no paper trail for independent inspectors to even know it existed, let alone detect the shoddy building.
During all this, nobody considered that the platform might have been so fundamentally unsafe to be in need of closure. Then it collapsed with some of 17 kids jumping up and down, because that's what kids do, but the jumping almost certainly only sped up the inevitable. 13 of those kids and a DOC ranger died.
DOC's possibly overcompensated, but I think a certain amount of it is remaining consistent with actual building, health and safety law. Many people don't feel the need to respect the law when it doesn't suit them or appears silly and pointless, but DOC's in a tricky place as a government department that's defined
by the law. It got a serious shake-up after Cave Creek. In part the law is where the issue is if there is one, especially as it's still ambiguous and not fully tested in court on where the responsibility lies around accidents in all of the relevant scenarios, but it's also one of those things that's hard to get right.
Last edited by izogi
on Tue 26 Apr, 2016 10:04 am, edited 7 times in total.