Gold Coast Building Site Deaths

Southport 25 June 2008: Last weekend two construction workers fell to their deaths at a high rise construction site on the Queensland Gold Coast in a tragic accident that could have been prevented. The two men were working on a swinging stage when it collapsed plummeting them over 20 stories to the ground. The worksite on the corner of Surf Parade and Elizabeth Street was closed while OHS inspectors conducted investigations. The results of a safety audit are expected to be released this week.

We understand construction sites across Queensland were closed for at least two days and a ban has been placed on the use of swinging stages like that one involved in the accident. General Manager of Meriton Apartments Peter Spira said that his company had a good safety record and always comply with workplace health and safety laws.

Unfortunately it is emerging that this tragic event was predicted by many in the industry and in fact followed a number of other fatal falls on Gold Coast work sites. We must wait until the results of the safety audit before knowing the official version of what went wrong but if you listen to union officials and construction workers there is a chance this type of accident will happen again.

Whatever the outcome this was a terrible waste of human life. Lets hope people learn from it and put a stop to dangerous workplace practices. It is only through creating a strong culture of safety right from the top of the organisation down to the shop floor that we will see true OHS reform on building sites. We would welcome your views on how to prevent such an accident happening again.

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Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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