A young scaffolder who died after plunging 30 metres to the ground at the Barangaroo construction site in Sydney had been on the job for only two weeks and was not being supervised sufficiently at the time of his death, the union representing construction workers says.
However, the company in charge of the site has rejected the accusations.
Emergency services were called to the site on Hickson Road, just south of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, at 8.30am on Thursday to reports that a man had plunged about 30 metres from scaffolding to the ground.
Paramedics arrived at the Hickson Road site to find distraught colleagues of the 26-year-old performing CPR on him. Despite their efforts, the man died at the scene.
Brian Parker, NSW secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, said the man was working on the site as part of the Koori Job Ready Program.
Under that program, young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders learn construction skills in an eight-week program in Darlington with the aim of preparing graduates for employment on construction projects.
Mr Parker claimed the man had been on the Barangaroo construction site for only two weeks and, at the time of his death, was not being supervised and was in an area of the construction site in which he should not have been.
He claimed Lend Lease, which is developing the Barangaroo site, was paid federal government grants to take on the Koori Job Ready Program graduates, and should have provided more supervision for them.
"The only mentoring that happens is at the start of the job, before they start on site. Where was the supervision that should have been carried out when this worker arrived on the site this morning? We're very much concerned about that," Mr Parker said.
"The mind boggles. We say that they [Lend Lease] don't get paid that money not to mentor them."
In response to the union accusations, Lend Lease said it was ‘‘disappointing that anyone would use such a tragic incident to point-score’’.
‘‘Lend Lease works tirelessly to eliminate incidents and injuries on its worksites,’’ the company said.
‘‘Our focus now is on the welfare of the family of the deceased and all of our workers affected by the incident.’’
WorkCover NSW inspectors are investigating the death and police will prepare a report for the coroner.
Mr Parker said work had stopped on the construction site on Thursday following the man's death, and union members would hold a stop-work meeting on Friday morning to discuss whether it was safe to return to work.
Earlier, police said they were called to the construction site following reports that a man had fallen to his death.
"Officers have been told the man may have fallen from scaffolding at the site," a police spokeswoman said.
"Police from Sydney City Local Area Command have established a crime scene and launched an investigation."
A WorkCover NSW spokeswoman said an inspector had been sent to the construction site to investigate the man's death.
Acting NSW Premier Andrew Stoner offered his sympathies to the worker's family.
"We are saddened to learn of the death of a worker at the Barangaroo site in Sydney this morning," he said in a statement.
The story Scaffolder who fell 30 metres to his death not mentored: union first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.