A construction site incident in Melbourne today has highlighted the very personal nature of accidents. An article on Heraldsun.com.au makes it all too clear that construction workers are not just numbers, they are human beings with friends and families whose lives are forever changed by the passing of their loved one.
According to the family of a deceased worker, he was one of the best crane operators in Melbourne and his co-workers felt the same.
Read about the tragedy below with an excerpt from HeraldSun.com.au
Police have informed the next-of-kin of Billy Ramsay, 59, who fell to his death on the Myer Emporium site in Lonsdale Street.
“It’s a terrible, terrible thing that has happened, he was going to work to do his job and come home – tragically that’s not the case,” a relative said.
“He was one of the best crane drivers in the CBD. He’s a father and a grandfather.”
Mr Ramsay fell 35 metres from a crane on to a platform near the main tower at about 6.40am.
Paramedics tried to revive him for 30 minutes but he died on site.
CFMEU secretary John Setka said today that Mr Ramsay was a well-respected crane driver, whose son was an official for the plumbers’ union.
“A long term CFMEU member who comes from a very well respected family in the building industry was killed this morning. The industry is in mourning, the family is in mourning, we’ve got to try to look after them now,” he said.
“We’re not here to blame anyone or say it’s anyone’s fault, but it’s been a tragic accident and it can happen on any site.
The victim was an employee of the Grocon construction company for 2 years and his death shut down all Grocons sites as co-workers and supervisors dealt with their shock and grief. Workers are apparently visibly shaken and overwhelmed by grief at the sudden accident. The authorities are investigating the incident and the employer is working closely with them.
WorkSafe inspectors were this morning focusing their investigations on a crane near the main tower on the site where the victim fell from and are investigating possible causes of the fall.
The same site was last year blocked by the CFMEU after concerns about the appointment of health and safety representatives.
This tragic incident is an example of how dangerous construction work can be, even for the most experienced workers such as Mr Ramsay. Falls are the number one killer on construction sites and this incident is particular frightening because the worker was an expert and yet fell over 35 meters from a crane platform.
Even falls from relatively low heights can be deadly or debilitating and so this risk needs to be managed.
Watch this video from HeraldSun.com to learn more about the incident :