Last week Monday was a very unlucky day for one construction worker who was almost killed when a stack of concrete sheets fell 2 storeys and hit into him.
The construction worker narrowly escaped death when he was standing on a truck on a site in Sydney when a stack of concrete sheets hit him after falling from 2 storeys up. The concrete sheets were being hoisted by a crane when they dislodged and fell approximately 12 metres. According to witnesses on site the load was not properly restrained when it was being lifted.
The injured man was working as a dogman on the site whose responsibility it was to guide the crane operator as the load was being moved.
According to eye witness reports the crane swung into a metal loading platform which dislodged the concrete sheets, which are a quarter of the weight of regular concrete, and a lucky thing too because if it were regularly concrete the worker most likely would not have survived.
The worker is in a stable condition in hospital thanks to efforts by medical personnel at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and paramedics who worked to free the man from the rubble. The man suffered serious injuries including fractured vertebrae.
Smh.com.au was one of the first to report the accident, this excerpt was taken from a post on their site:
State secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Brian Parker, was concerned rules demanding ”exclusion zones” beneath cranes were not being enforced. ”There’s going to be further accidents and deaths,” he said.
A spokeswoman for WorkCover NSW said it was investigating the incident, but the man’s job entitled him to stand within the exclusion zone. The man’s employer, Cosmo Cranes, declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation.
The building site is planned to become a $280 million retail and residential complex called The Quay. Construction is being overseen by Parkview Constructions, which did not respond to requests for comment.
It is the second accident involving a crane in the area in the past year. In November last year, a crane at the University of Technology, Sydney campus on Broadway caught fire and collapsed.
The Ultimo Road site, which once housed the poultry section of Paddy’s markets, had been undeveloped for nearly 30 years before construction began last September.
It was known as one of Sydney’s black holes, or last remaining development opportunities, now being converted into 270 apartments.
It is believed that work on the site has been suspended until the union investigated the site’s safety issues. According to the CFMEU’s Brian Parker the pressure to turn commercial development around fast was leading to neglect of safety.
This incident should highlight the importance of ensuring crane loads are adequately secured and retrained before being lifted but also highlights the greater need for safety overall on site. Despite the need for commercial development and tight deadlines it is important that we in the construction industry recognise the importance of always putting safety first to avoid incidents like this.