A magistrate has dismissed charges laid against three men - including the chief executive of an international construction giant - over the death of a worker on the University of Canberra Hospital worksite.
Seven men and two companies were charged in 2018 over the death of Herman Holtz, in what remains the largest industrial prosecution in ACT history.
Mr Holtz, 62, was killed instantly when a mobile crane tipped over and crushed him as he helped to move a 10.3-tonne generator on the Bruce construction site in August 2016.
The crane's driver, Michael John Watts, received a suspended 12-month jail sentence in April after he pleaded guilty to engaging in reckless conduct that exposed Mr Holtz to the risk of death or serious injury.
Watts, 48, admitted that the overloaded crane tipped after he had repeatedly overriden safety mechanisms and ignored warning alarms to continue operating it.
The cases of the other eight parties, who were all charged with high-level work health and safety breaches, returned to the ACT Industrial Court on Thursday morning.
Those eight parties were:
- Mr Holtz's employer and the project's principal contractor, Multiplex Constructions
- Multiplex chief executive John Flecker
- Multiplex site manager Benjamin De Bono
- Multiplex senior site supervisor Andrew Drummond
- Multiplex health and safety representative Munro Jones
- Watts' employer, subcontractor RAR Cranes
- Paul Kelly, a dogman who worked for RAR Cranes
- RAR Cranes director Jeffrey Rumble
Prosecutor Kylie Weston-Scheuber on Thursday told the court the prosecution had no evidence to offer in relation to Mr Flecker, Mr De Bono and Mr Jones.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker accordingly dismissed the charges those three men had faced.
Dr Weston-Scheuber said the prosecution was in "a position of uncertainty" as to the next steps in the remaining five defendants' matters.
She said the prosecution had commenced discussions with Multiplex Constructions and Mr Drummond in the hope of resolving their charges without the need for a contested hearing.
A lawyer for RAR Cranes and Mr Rumble told the court those parties would also like to "progress some productive discussions with the prosecutor".
Multiplex Constructions, RAR Cranes, Mr Rumble, Mr Kelly and Mr Drummond are due back in court for a directions hearing on September 17.