The daughter of a man crushed and killed by a falling crane has broken down while telling the crane driver she hates him.
Herman Holtz, 62, died in August 2016 while assisting the crane driver during construction of the University of Canberra Hospital in Bruce.
The mobile crane driver, 48-year-old Michael John Watts, has pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless conduct exposing people to the risk of death or serious injury.
He initially faced the more serious charge of manslaughter, but it was abandoned when he agreed to provide evidence and plead guilty to the lesser offence.
The agreed facts of the case say Watts was lifting and re-positioning a 10.3-tonne generator at the time of the incident.
Watts repeatedly overrode safety mechanisms to continue operating the crane, which was overloaded when it tipped, crushing and killing Mr Holtz instantly.
Watts appeared in the ACT Supreme Court for a sentence hearing on Thursday, when eight members of Mr Holtz's family provided victim impact statements.
Each statement described Mr Holtz, a father of four who also had 12 grandchildren, as a devoted family man. The court heard he had a no-nonsense, but loving nature.
Mr Holtz's daughter, Kelly Holtz, spoke directly to Watts as she read her statement, telling the crane driver her father's death had been avoidable.
"My dad would still be here if you had just refused to operate that crane, or turned it off when all those f...ing [safety] alarms went off," a highly distressed Ms Holtz told Watts.
She said she loved everything about her father, a selfless man with a big laugh who slept on a hospital floor to support his wife during cancer treatment.
Since her father's death, she had struggled to find any real joy in life.
"The tears haven't stopped. They won't. To say that time heals everything is a load of shit," she said.
Ms Holtz said her family had been robbed of the chance to add to the special memories they had of her dad.
"You took all that away from us and I hate you for it," she told Watts.
Another of Mr Holtz's children, Ana Lewis, said through tears that she felt lost without her father, who was her confidante and "had the biggest heart".
She urged the court to make an example of Watts by imposing a sentence that would make others "stop in their tracks" before acting recklessly at work.
But Watts' barrister, John Agius SC, said if the court determined that a jail sentence was warranted, it should be fully suspended.
Mr Agius said Watts was clearly affected by the incident, which had caused him to suffer from post-traumatic stress and quit crane driving despite his financial situation.
Watts had also pleaded guilty in a genuine show of contrition and agreed to provide evidence that would be useful in the prosecutions of eight co-accused individuals and corporations, who remain before the courts.
Mr Agius said Watts' culpability was lessened by the fact he had been directed by his superiors to move the generator with some urgency, using a specific mobile crane.
Watts had not been informed that his employer, RAR Cranes, had proposed to instead use a larger crane for the job, only for head contractor Multiplex, which employed Mr Holtz, to knock back the suggestion because of the cost.
Mr Agius said Watts had independently raised the possibility of using a larger crane, but as a casual employee, lacked the power to push back when told that was not an option.
Watts also lacked the necessary training to operate the crane he used in "superlift" mode, which he ultimately attempted to do after reaching a consensus agreement with others on the work site.
Crown prosecutor Kylie Weston-Scheuber said that regardless of the instructions he was given, Watts had chosen to continue with the task at several stages when he could see clear safety risks.
She said the crane was operating at 130 per cent of its rated capacity when it tipped and crushed Mr Holtz.
Ms Weston-Scheuber said only a jail sentence would be appropriate for Watts, but whether it should be served behind bars or in some other way was a matter for the court.
Chief Justice Helen Murrell will hand down Watts' sentence on Monday morning.