The construction industry has called for a safety review after the scaffolding death of 18 year old Christopher Cassaniti who was crushed when a 15m high scaffolding collapsed.

The tragedy prompted urgent calls for a safety review of the industry.

According to SafeWork Australia statistics, five construction workers have been killed on the job since the start of 2019.

The family of Christopher Cassaniti has been open about their calls for government to step in to address safety in the industry.

As the Cassaniti family await the results of an investigation into what happened to their son, they say crucial safety checks and procedures must be at the centre of every construction site.

CFMEU construction and general, national secretary Dave Noonan described the incident as a “catastrophic failure of a scaffolding” and said the union would be following the investigations,

“The union has arranged counsellors,” he told ABC News. “Unfortunately [they] get called to these matters all too often.

“This tragedy, in particular, is causing a lot of trauma and grief right across Australia.


SafeWork NSW is investigating the incident. It had issued a Prohibition notice to the construction company, preventing access to work on the ground floor and basement levels of the site, Executive Director Tony Williams explained,

“The outcomes of this investigation are expected to take some time to gather meaningful and constructive results,” Executive Director Tony Williams said.

“SafeWork will examine a range of factors including the qualifications of relevant workers, environmental conditions, the load carried by the scaffolding, as well as the design, construction, and maintenance of scaffolding.”


Sites across the state have now been targeted in a blitz by inspectors who are trying to ensure businesses understand the safety requirements involved in creating a safe work environment for workers using scaffolding and working from a height. The blitz “Operation Scaf Safe’ is expected to run until September 2019. Penalties of up to $3600 may apply for exposing workers to risk of falls, or for carrying out scaffold work without the necessary licence.

In a safety alert from September 2018, SafeWork NSW gave a number of measures to ensure scaffolding operations are safely undertaken.

  • Ensure the scaffold remains stable and supports the loadings imposed at all times.

  • Use a scaffold that is suitable for the tasks and construction process.

  • Ensure the scaffold can withstand any anticipated loads or forces – eg strong winds.

  • Ensure the scaffold is adequately tied to its supporting structure, in accordance with instructions from a competent person – if this is not possible, consult with the scaffold designer, manufacturer, supplier or an engineer.

Read all the advice from SafeWork NSW at:

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