Gold Coast Construction Company fined after Worker Fatalities

A Gold Coast construction company has been fined $600,000 after 2 workers fell 26 storeys to their death while engaging in work on a high rise construction site.

It is disappointing that despite the fact that falls from heights are the leading cause of construction deaths, these types of accidents are still occurring. This accident claimed the lives of 36 year old Chris Gear and 52 year old Steve Sayer who were both experienced in the construction sector.

Rea what this post from to say about the incident:

A GOLD Coast construction company has been fined $600,000 over the deaths of two tradesmen who fell 26 storeys from a Broadbeach high rise swing stage.

The tragic 2008 deaths of Chris Gear, 36, and Steve Sayer, 52, sent shockwaves through the Queensland construction industry and left behind two grieving families.

Today their widows wept in the Southport Industrial Magistrates Court as the first of three construction companies was convicted for failing to protect the men under Workplace Health and Safety Act.

Pryme Constructions, Karimbla Construction Services and Allscaff Systems have all been accused of breaching the Act in 2008 at the Meriton’s Pegasus construction site in Broadbeach.

Pryme, the primary employer of the two men, has since gone into liquidation and is the first to be successfully prosecuted.

Magistrate Brian Kilmartin said Pryme’s failure to properly induct and supervise it’s workers had had fatal consequences.

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The accident could have been avoided if the employer implemented the appropriate fall control measures such as adequate supervision of workers as well as OH&S training on work from heights.

Karimbla and Alscaff and their directors are still facing prosecution and the worker’s widows Myriam Gear and Brigitte Maiale also have a pending $5.6 million damages claim against the companies in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.

Something this tragedy highlights for other building firms is the importance of ensuring that workers, especially those engaged in high risk work are provided with the appropriate supervision. Supervision of workers undertaking very dangerous tasks is a good idea and experienced supervisors will ensure that staff are performing activities in the safest and most productive manner.

A mistake in the construction industry could cost a life, so supervision is necessary to ensure more than just productivity, it is needed to ensure that workers are engaging in safe work practices and adhering to their safety training and the sites safety procedures.

Another important part of OH&S is training. Ensuring that all workers are properly trained on safe workfrom heights, this is one of the reasons why white card training is such a vital requirement for all construction workers. This safety training is important in ensuring safety is enhanced and the high rate of fatalities due to falls from heights in the industry is combatted.