Rail construction worker hospitalised after 8 m fall

Wednesday, 12 September, 2018

Rail construction worker hospitalised after 8 m fall

A bricklayer has been seriously injured after he allegedly fell eight metres through an unprotected hole at the construction site for the Castle Hill railway station in Sydney.

All work halted on the site after the incident on Tuesday, 11 September, while an investigation was undertaken into the incident.

The construction site is part of the NSW Government’s $8.3 billion Sydney Metro Northwest rail project.

Electrical Trades Union construction organiser Fred Barbin was on the project at the time of the incident, carrying out a safety inspection in relation to separate safety concerns.

“This brickie was extremely lucky to survive such a major fall,” Barbin said.

“I’ve examined the area where it occurred and there is no doubt this serious incident was the direct result of serious safety breaches.

“The penetration this man fell through had no fencing around it, as is required, and instead appeared to have been loosely covered by something that had not been secured in place.

“It appears the injured worker had no idea the hole in the concrete was even there, and when he stepped on the covering it failed, causing him to fall to the lower level.”

Barbin said this NSW Government-funded project had been riddled with safety issues.

“In May, an inspector from the federal workplace safety regulator, Comcare, ordered all work in the 30 kilometres of rail tunnel to stop due to serious safety breaches,” he said.

“That followed a number of serious incidents last year, including power being cut to the entire tunnel when a forklift struck live wires and the discovery that power cables had simply been wrapped around water pipes.

“Despite being a multibillion-dollar government-funded project, it has been left to workers and their unions to fight almost daily battles to have serious safety issues rectified.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Tierney

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