An 18-year-old apprentice was tragically killed following a scaffold collapse in Sydney. The incident occurred on 1st April at a construction site, and saw significant amounts of scaffolding and concrete collapse, sadly crushing the young apprentice and critically injuring a fellow team member.
Reports have stated that the apprentice could not be assessed initially following the arrival of paramedics, and was sadly pronounced dead a few short hours later. Another worker was freed by NSW Fire and Rescue workers and taken to the hospital in a critical condition.
The scaffolding that collapsed had been 15 to 17 metres high, which, following its collapse, left tonnes of materials including steel, concrete and meshing, throughout the site.
The first of the emergency services to arrive at the site described the scene as ‘chaotic’ and ‘emotionally charged’, with fellow scaffolders stating that they could hear men shouting for help from under the debris.
Some reports suggest that concerns over the safety of the scaffolding had previously been raised in emails, however this has not been confirmed. Instead this tragedy has opened up a significant amount of debate in Australia over health and safety practices in the construction sector, particularly as this incident marks the fifth fatality at a construction site this year.
Both New South Wales Police and Safe Work NSW are currently investigating the incident, which is expected to take some time to complete.