Death From Heat on Construction Site

A construction company with no meaningful safety policy has been slammed over the worksite death of a young man working on a building site. The worker collapsed from heat stroke and later died after the building contractor he was working for showed a casual approach to safety.

 The man had little experience in insulation when he climbed into the ceiling space of a home and performed work under extremely high temperatures. He collapsed and was taken to hospital, where he died from the complications of hyperthermia, including total organ failure and muscle meltdown.

 The Coroner for the case said while there was no single cause of the man’s death, a contributing factor was that the company he was working for had “no meaningful safety policy”. The court heard the young man was filling in for a friend when he climbed into the roof with one of the company’s subcontractors and although the teenager was not employed or contracted by the company it ultimately profited from his work.

 The construction company had no guidelines to ensure worked stopped in high temperatures and did not bring the risk of heat stroke to the attention of contractors.

 While the company was not directly responsible for the teenager’s death, its casual approach to health and safety issues contributed significantly to him being placed in harm’s way.

 High temperatures are a sinister hazard and particularly a risk for construction sector workers and anyone involved in outside activities. As a responsible officer for your company make sure you take steps to guard against the same thing happening at your work.


About the Author

Joanne Wallace is our resident "Safety Guru". Joanne has provided advice on safety management for the past 10 years and written hundreds of articles on safety issues and tips. Joanne has experience in many industries ranging from manufacturing, food processing, timber milling, retail, office and wholesaling providing her with knowledge and experience managing risk and injuries in these industries.

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