Construction worker falls to his death at Sydney worksite

Date: Jan 09, 2014

A man working at a construction site in the central part of Sydney was killed after he fell 30 metres from the scaffolding on which he was working, shedding light on the many dangers inherent in Australia's construction industry, and the potential for accidental death or total permanent disability.

The accident occurred at the Barangaroo redevelopment area, where construction firm Lend Lease was managing a massive rebuild of the region. Since the death, one construction union has come forward to claim Lend Lease did not properly supervise its workers, and this may have led to the death of the man.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) asserts this was not the first time Lend Lease has pushed the limits on neglecting its employees' safety.

"We are confident there was a lack of supervision and mentoring for this young bloke,'' said CFMEU NSW secretary Brian Parker.

"Another life lost at work is an absolute tragedy and something these workers will never forget."

Although the accident is under formal investigation, experts have yet to uncover the exact cause of the fall. However, details have emerged that the man who died was not in fact trained to be working at heights.

Lack of supervision the issue at hand

CFMEU spokesman Ben Manna stated it will continue to view the death as an accident until the investigation proves otherwise. However, the group said the man was working in an area of the construction site where he should never have been allowed.

"We believe the man should not have been in the area where he was working when the incident happened and that's probably because of a lack of supervision on site. He shouldn't have been there in the first place," Mr Manna stated.

"We believe he was on the fourth floor of the building and he's gone over the edge of the scaffolding."

Lend Lease has publicly responded to the union's claims, asserting that their employees' safety is of the utmost importance. The organisation stated it was "disappointing that anyone would use such a tragic incident to point-score", and that at this time it was more appropriate to focus on the family of the deceased worker.

The investigation will be held by inspectors from WorkCover NSW, and the local police force will write the report for the coroner.

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