Scaffolding company pleads guilty over 2019 construction incident
Scaffolding company Synergy Scaffolding Services Pty Ltd (Synergy) has pleaded guilty to a Category 1 offence under NSW’s workplace safety laws, in relation to a scaffolding collapse on 1 April 2019 at a construction site that resulted in the death of young worker, Christopher Cassaniti, and serious injuries to another worker. Synergy was contracted to supply, erect, protect and maintain scaffold at the Macquarie Park site and pleaded guilty to a Category 1 offence, pursuant to sections 31 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The matter is listed for sentencing on 21 November 2022.
Minister for Fair Trading Eleni Petinos said it is one of the first prosecutions of its kind for SafeWork NSW, since major amendments were introduced to strengthen work health and safety laws in 2020.
“No family should ever have to experience the tragedy of losing a loved one through an incident at work as the Cassinitis did. This is a reminder that our work health safety laws are important and must be upheld by all operators,” said Petinos.
In the past two years, SafeWork NSW has implemented a range of programs to improve the safety of workers in the construction industry. These include the Family and Injured Worker Support Group, to provide advice and feedback to SafeWork NSW for families and injured workers impacted by a workplace tragedy. The Young Workers eToolkit, for employers and workers, contains tips and training materials about work safety rights and responsibilities, while the Speak Up, Save Lives app allows people to anonymously report unsafe work practices directly to SafeWork NSW.
SafeWork NSW has also developed a Scaffold Industry Safety Standard which provides a guide to prevent scaffolding-related injuries and deaths. An Annual SafeWork NSW Building and Construction Symposium event also brings builders, industry and government together to improve safety for workers. The event is held in Parramatta and regionally.
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