We have recently been contacted by a reputable reporter for a well known TV Channel/programme who is working on a story about injuries and deaths in the construction industry. We’d like to offer any genuinely injured worker, or their relatives and/or any in-or outside whistle-blower an opportunity to share their story on camera, and / or their perspective on what is really going on in the construction industry.
I’m a reporter with [x] working on a story about injuries/deaths in the construction industry. Interested to know if you have any really good cases of people that are willing to speak on-camera at all?? Have you ever come across any whistle blowers from within Workcover who have ever given any perspective on what goes on in there?
Too many construction industry injuries and deaths
In 2014 we have heard and seen too many construction workers killed or badly injured on construction sites, at workplaces and even at private homes. While according to WorkSafe Vic, the number of injuries and fatalities is less than in some previous years, one is always too many.
Since the start of December 2014, a number of construction related prosecutions have been finalised. The WorkSafe VIC prosecution webpage shows convictions and/or fines over the following major construction incidents:
- Swanston Street wall collapse, which killed three members of the public.
- Death of a crane truck operator, while unloading steel at a construction site.
- Providing false and misleading documents to an inspector.
- Unsafe work at heights.
- Electric shock from power lines.
- Death of a rigger in a piling rig collapse at Southbank.
Some recent incidents in the construction industry
In New South Wales
- On 23 Dec 2014, a young boy died on construction site
An 8 year old boy was killed when concrete slabs fell on him as he and other children were playing, while their parents were at church; two days before Christmas. The concrete slabs were stacked and stored on the church’s property
- On 24 Jan 2014, a Worker was killed in cherry picker
A young man fell to his death after a cherry picker toppled over in north-west Sydney. WorkCover NSW is investigating.
- On 22 Dec 2014, a Worker was injured on a rail link
A worker was injured after a boulder fell on him, while working on the North West Rail Link in Sydney. WorkCover NSW is investigating.
- On 6 Jan 2015, a truck mounted aerial lift burst into flames on the M1 motorway near Ourimba, between Sydney and Newcastle. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident.
- On or around 20 Dec 2014, a Plumber died at building site Sydney’s north-west
A plumber and father of two has been killed after falling into a collapsed trench at a building site in Sydney’s north-west. WorkCover are investigating the incident.
- Trench collapses prompt safety warning: Two recent trench collapse incidents with serious consequences have raised concerns about the dangers of excavation work. Two Sydney workers were admitted to hospital last week after a five-metre deep trench caved in on them. Early findings reveal the trench collapses could easily have resulted in the deaths of both workers.
In Western Australia
- On 24 Dec 2014, a Workman on a WA building site was flung through air like a Royal Show ride. A video of the WA building site where an excavator was turned into a makeshift carnival ride is being investigated by WorkSafe WA.
- On 16 Jan 2015, the ABC reported the Death of teenage trade assistant Jayden Zappelli in Bunbury roof could have been prevented, court hears.
- On 21 Jan 2015, a Worker died at mine in WA’s Pilbara.
- On or around 12 Dec 2014 a Worker was killed in a wall collapse
The worker died after a wall collapsed on him at an underground coal mine in central Queensland.
- On 2 Jan 2015, a Man received an electric shock
A worker received an electric shock when the truck mounted crane he was operating clipped power lines. He is in a stable condition.
According to WorkSfe Vic, “construction work is high risk. Every week, 50 Victorian construction workers are seriously injured and have to stop work, often because basic site safety is not up to scratch.”
You can read more about construction industry statistics on SafeWork Australia. There Construction factsheet (published Nov 2013) states for example the following:
Over the five years from 2007–08 to 2011–12, 211 Construction workers died from work-related injuries. The total number of deaths equates to 4.34 fatalities per 100 000 workers, which is nearly twice the national rate of 2.29.
So, can anyone tell us what is going on in the Construction industry and why basic safety not implemented?
[Post dictated by WC and manually transcribed on her behalf]