Deaths in building industry have become much too frequent

Christopher Cassaniti with his parents. He died at work.

Contributed from New South Wales

One young man dead and another seriously injured. This is not a war zone, but an all too common scene on Australian building sites.

Tragically, 18-year old Christopher Cassaniti was caught under falling scaffolding. Rescuers had difficulty getting to him and he died on the scene. The other, a 39-year old man was left in a critical condition. He survived and taken to the Royal North Shore Hospital.

The accident occurred at Lachlan’s Line Project on Epping Road in Macquarie Park. The developer is Greenland Australia.

A message released by the company stated;

“The welfare of this site’s employees and subcontractors remains a priority, and we are currently assisting police and emergency authorities at the site to determine the cause of this tragic event.”

We do not know the details of what occurred in this case. What can be said, scaffolding should not have fallen like this. The site manager should have made sure the scaffolding company was careful and focused when building it and that it was rigorously tested before use, like companies such as would have done. When being safety tested, any errors should have been picked up as about 17 metres of it is estimated to have come down. This raises some serious questions.

Whatever the cause this sort of tragedy has become only too common in this industry.

Many of those who work in it and know it, insist that there is a correlation between the increasing rate of accidents and the restriction of the ability of workers and their unions to ensure safe conditions on building sites, under the regime imposed by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

This specialised police force, was brought in to assist developers who are very close to the government, by restricting union activity on sites and allowing employers to take short cuts. The result is that building sites are now less safe than they were.

That being said, there are a number of recommendations that can help workers to improve construction site safety. For example, investing in industrial shrink wrap from heat shrink plastic specialists such as Pro-Tect Plastics can provide a significant amount of protection in construction projects that involve elements of environmental containment.

Moreover, heat shrink plastic is strong, durable, versatile, and low maintenance, making it an essential purchase for any construction projects that involve elements of environmental containment. For example, as asbestos is being removed from a building, the surrounding environment needs to be protected. Therefore, industrial shrink wrap can contain any loose asbestos, providing an affordable and completely effective measure against environmental contagion.

That is not all though. The situation would be much worse, were it not for the resilience and determination of workers and unions in the industry to not be coerced into silence and continue to fight for safety on the job. The urge for safety is paramount at the moment, so much so that at this point it could even be safer to buy a Rolling Ladder online from Platforms and Ladders or somewhere alike, as these can be much a much safer alternative for workers to reach heights. Scaffolding should then only be used for harder to reach places.

This is still far from good enough. They are entitled to have the support of Australia and Australia has a duty to put a stop to this. The ABCC must go.

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