Horror week for construction sites

Two workers died at work sites in WA last week two hours apart, and another just days before, from injuries sustained on a construction site in Victoria.

Out of the three, two were working with concrete. The incidents in which a man in his 20’s and a 32-year-old male, and a 56 year-old man, lost their lives are being investigated by Western Australia’s and Victoria’s safety agencies.

These latest tragedies bring the tally of people dying at work this year to 26, at just over three months into 2024.

In WA, the man in his 20’s was fatally injured in an incident involving a forklift just after midday on 3 April at a concrete manufacturing facility in Dalwallinu, 240 kilometres north of Perth. Then around 2pm that day in O’Connor, 15 km south of Perth, a 32-year-old male was crushed while working in the basket of an elevated work platform.

Across the country, on 26 March, a 56-year-old man fell more than two metres while pouring concrete. He sustained head injuries at the Doncaster East construction site in Melbourne and died in hospital two days later.

This was the 11th confirmed workplace fatality in Victoria this year, down from 18 at the same time in 2023. Victoria’s WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Narelle Beer, said falls from heights were preventable but remain a top cause of workplace harm in the state.

Over 400 claims were made in 2023 after construction workers were injured in falls in Victoria.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is our weekly news journalist and the editor of Concrete in Australia magazine for 10 years. She has been heavily involved in all forms of engineering since 2013; part of a 30-year writing career across a range of subjects and media.