Monday 21 August 2017

Inspectors target structural collapse after spate of incidents

WorkSafe inspectors will hone in on the risks of structural collapse during construction work as part of their latest safety blitz following a spate of incidents in recent months.

A timber-frame wall which struck a 17-year-old worker in Donvale, temporary hoarding falling down near pedestrians in a shopping area at Campbellfield and a scaffold collapsing onto a footpath in North Melbourne have all been the subject of WorkSafe inquiries last month.

Tragically, 16 workers and three members of the public have been killed since 2001 due to structural collapse at construction sites.

As part of the state-wide campaign, inspectors will focus on buildings and associated structures under construction including walls and frames.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said the collapse of a building or structure could have catastrophic consequences.

“We’ve seen the tragic aftermath of structural collapses at construction sites and the reality is that it just should not happen,” she said. “We want to be very clear to builders and contractors that they have a responsibility to ensure walls, roof structures, floors, formwork and pre-cast panels are appropriately installed, supported or braced during construction work and if they fail to do so there could be deadly consequences.”

During their site visits, WorkSafe inspectors will raise awareness of structural collapse risks and provide practical information and guidance to builders and contractors on the risks and safety measures required.

“Our aim is to assist the industry in preventing structural collapses during construction work but, ultimately, if inspectors identify that someone has failed in their duties to provide and maintain a safe workplace they will take appropriate enforcement action,” Ms Williams said.

For more information on construction safety visit: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/construction

Fatalities in construction due to structural collapse

Date

Description

31/05/2016

A 66-year-old man was crushed when a brick wall collapsed while repair work was being done at Belmont.

15/02/2016

A 53-year-old man fell 20m down a service riser shaft at Melbourne after a temporary platform collapsed.

23/06/2014

A 30-year-old man was crushed when a brick wall collapsed at Brighton East.

22/08/2013

A 21-year-old man was crushed after the collapse of a second level internal floor of a building under construction at Caulfield South.

28/03/2013

A 19-year-old man, his 18-year-old sister and a 33-year-old woman were crushed after a brick wall collapsed onto the footpath at Carlton.

2/04/2008

A 47-year-old man suffered fatal head injuries when the steel structure of a building under construction collapsed at Dandenong.

10/11/2007

A 42-year-old male died after he was struck on the head by a temporary brace that was being removed from a completed tilt up panel at Mitcham.

21/06/2006

A 61-year-old man was crushed after the second story of a building collapsed during renovation work at Apollo Bay.

2/05/2006

A 48-year-old man died after a gazebo collapsed at Canterbury.

8/03/2006

A 58-year-old man died after a concrete precast panel fell during the erection process at Pakenham.

3/09/2004

A 24-year-old man was crushed after the support formwork system failed while  a concrete floor was being poured in Melbourne.

3/08/2004

A 24-year-old man died after a house that was being restumped collapsed at Maidstone.

12/03/2004

A 35-year-old man suffered fatal head injuries when a 40kg end cap attached to the end of a 12 inch water pipe blew off during pressure testing at Bundoora.

11/06/2003

A 20-year-old man died after falling three metres through a roof while removing corrugated sheets and the unsupported chimney collapsed on top of him at Princes Hill.

15/10/2002

A 55-year-old bricklayer died after a neighbouring brick shed wall (approx. 10 foot high) collapsed onto him while he was digging a trench at South Yarra.

19/03/2002

A 39-year-old man died after being struck on the head by a support beam that collapsed from a house being re-stumped at Mount Beauty.

21/05/2001

A man died when a wall collapsed on him while he was relocating a sewage breather pipe at the rear of a property at Albert Park.

Further Information

WorkSafe media enquiries: Peter Flaherty: 0478 881 663, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Caitlin Rode: 0434 685 577, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email info@worksafe.vic.gov.au or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.