Union raises safety concerns after electrical worker dies following fall from ladder on Sydney construction site
Posted on 27-7-2015
A 62 year old electrical worker has died in hospital of his injuries just days after falling from an extension ladder while working on a construction site in Kensington Street, Chippendale.
The Electrical Trades Union said building work on the site had stopped following the worker’s fall on Wednesday afternoon, with WorkCover NSW issuing prohibition notices in relation to all ladders on the site.
The injured man suffered serious head injuries when he struck the ground, and despite being transported to hospital he later passed away.
ETU spokesman Dave McKinley said union officials had visited the site on at least two occasions prior to the fatal fall, raising a range of safety concerns including in relation to work at heights.
Mr McKinley said that while the deceased man was employed through a labour hire company, workplace health and safety legislation places the ultimate duty of care for providing a safe working environment on builder Rapid Construction and principal electrical contractor Ozlect Electrical.
“From our initial investigations, it appears there have been multiple safety breaches on this construction site that may have directly contributed to this man’s tragic death,” he said.
“Despite previous visits by union officials who highlighted serious safety concerns, including in relation to work carried out at heights, there appears to have been no safe work method statements in place and faulty equipment, including ladders, in use.
“Investigations are ongoing, however a site-wide safety audit conducted following this accident revealed what appear to be systemic failures to implement safe systems of work.
“All work on the project has halted, and safety regulator WorkCover NSW has issued prohibition notices in relation to all ladders on site.
“There are serious questions that still need to be answered by the builder and electrical contractor to explain how this tragic accident was able to occur.
“It is shocking that dozens of workers still die on Australian construction sites every year due to accidents that are easily avoidable if safe work practices are made a priority.”