A bricklayer working on the construction of a new Sydney train station has been seriously injured after falling eight metres down a hole.
Work has been stopped at the Castle Hill railway station, which is part of the NSW Government’s $8.3 billion Sydney Metro Northwest rail project, while an investigation is launched into the accident, which happened at 8.45am.
Federal workplace safety regulator Comcare this afternoon issued an order halting work on the site until at least Thursday.
Only work rectifying safety breaches can be undertaken during this time.
Electrical Trades Union construction organiser Fred Barbin said he was at the site carrying out a safety inspection when the accident happened.
He said the man was lucky to survive and claims the accident was due to “serious safety breaches”.
“The penetration this man fell through had no fencing around it, as is required, and instead appeared to have been loosely covered by something that had not been secured in place,” he said.
“It appears the injured worked had no idea the hole in the concrete was even there, and when he stepped on the covering it failed, causing him to fall to the lower level.
“Work has halted while a full examination takes place.”
Mr Barbin claims the project has had previous safety issues.
“In May, an inspector from the Federal workplace safety regulator, Comcare, ordered all work in the 30 kilometres of rail tunnel to stop due to serious safety breaches,” he said.
“That followed a number of serious incidents last year, including power being cut to the entire tunnel when a forklift struck live wires and the discovery that power cables had simply been wrapped around water pipes.
“Despite being a multi-billion dollar Government-funded project, it has been left to workers and their unions to fight almost daily battles to have serious safety issues rectified.”
A Sydney Metro spokesperson said: “Safety is the number one priority on Sydney Metro work sites.
“An investigation is underway after a worker fell at the Castle Hill Station construction site about 8.30am Tuesday.
“Sydney Metro has been advised by its contractor Northwest Rapid Transit that the worker was alert following the incident and has been transported to hospital for further medical assessment. Work has stopped until relevant safety and regulatory checks have been carried out. The incident is being investigated.”
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