Tony Ovington

Tony Ovington

"It was a pile of rubbish"

Tony was a crane driver with over ten years’ experience at a woodchip mill. The company crane he usually drove was in good condition, but they had brought in an extra crane to help out that was ‘a pile of rubbish.’ He was given little instruction in how to drive this crane, but could tell immediately it wasn’t in good condition. Tony says he should have refused to drive it, but it was three days before Christmas and the company wanted to get things finished. He had just moved some material to an area of the site, when his supervisor told him it needed to be moved elsewhere. As he picked it up again, he felt the crane begin to topple. Not wanting to be in the cabin when it fell over, he jumped clear and landed with all his weight on one leg. As he hit the ground the leg was so badly broken that after months of treatment and subsequent bone infections from the external fixations the leg was amputated above the knee.

The CFMEU is Australia's main trade union in construction, forestry and furnishing products, mining and energy production.


Get in touch

Got a question, needs answers, or want to share your own story? You can stand up and speak out here.

 contact us