Worker dies after tragic spike in construction falls

The tragic demise of a 56-year-old worker at a residential building site in Doncaster East is currently under investigation by WorkSafe. The unfortunate incident occurred on Tuesday, 26th March, when the worker plummeted more than two metres while conducting a concrete pouring operation, subsequently suffering grave head injuries. He passed away in hospital two days later.

This distressing event marks the 11th confirmed workplace fatality for 2024, reminding us of the vital importance of WHS management systems. At this same time last year, there were 18 work-related deaths reported.

Within the first three days of the previous week, WorkSafe was called upon to respond to severe falls at construction sites — that’s four incidents within a mere nine days, and six in just three weeks.

“A fall can occur in a matter of seconds, with consequences that can tragically last a lifetime. These can range from debilitating injuries to loss of life,” said Narelle Beer, the Executive Director Health and Safety from WorkSafe. She went on to emphasise how vital it is that safety remains a top priority on every worksite. A comprehensive ‘Bluesafe SWMS‘ (Safe Work Method Statement) can help reduce such risks.

In the prior year alone, Victoria witnessed the death of nine workers due to falls from height, with four occurring in the construction industry. Additionally, over 400 claims were lodged by construction workers injured in similar falls in 2023. Of these, 160 sustained injuries from ladders, 46 from stairways, 31 from buildings or structures, 27 from scaffolding, and 13 through openings in floors, walls, or ceilings.

To address these concerns, WorkSafe inspectors have made over 3,700 visits to construction sites this year, bestowing over 1,100 notices in their campaign for improved work safety. A dedicated team is consistently inspecting sites across the state, ensuring employers take the risks of falls seriously. Employment of the ‘Bluesafe WHS Management System’ can be pivotal in navigating these challenges safely.

WorkSafe successfully prosecuted 39 cases relating to the risk of falls from height in 2023, with the courts imposing penalties amounting to more than $1.9 million. It is thus advisable for employers to follow the five-level hierarchy of controls to help prevent falls from heights at the workplace.

For further details surrounding fall prevention, please visit or get in touch via email at or phone at 0438 786 968.

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