A bricklayer working on the construction of the Castle Hill railway station suffered serious injuries this morning when he fell eight metres through an unprotected hole.
All work has halted on the site, which is part of the NSW Government’s $8.3 billion Sydney Metro Northwest rail project, while an investigation is undertaken into the serious incident which occurred at approximately 8.45am.
Electrical Trades Union construction organiser Fred Barbin was on the project at the time of the accident, carrying out a safety inspection in relation to separate safety concerns.
“This brickie was extremely lucky to survive such a major fall,” Mr Barbin said.
“I’ve examined the area where it occurred and there is no doubt this serious incident was the direct result of serious safety breaches.
“The penetration this man fell through had no fencing around it, as is required, and instead appeared to have been loosely covered by something that had not been secured in place.
“It appears the injured worked had no idea the hole in the concrete was even there, and when he stepped on the covering it failed, causing him to fall to the lower level.
“Work has halted while a full examination takes place.” Mr Barbin said this NSW Government-funded project had been riddled with safety issues.
“In May, an inspector from the Federal workplace safety regulator, Comcare, ordered all work in the 30 kilometres of rail tunnel to stop due to serious safety breaches,” he said.
“That followed a number of serious incidents last year, including power being cut to the entire tunnel when a forklift struck live wires and the discovery that power cables had simply been wrapped around water pipes.
“Despite being a multi-billion dollar Government-funded project, it has been left to workers and their unions to fight almost daily battles to have serious safety issues rectified.
“It is clear the Berejiklian Government has put a desire to have this project completed on time and under budget ahead of the safety of the men and women actually doing the construction work.
“Today’s incident could very easily have been fatal, yet the NSW Government looks set to continue with their hands-off approach to managing this major infrastructure project, leaving workers at risk.”
Article by AAP Medianet
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