Earlier this month WHS authorities issued a warning to construction site controllers to ensure that their sites were properly locked and secured before they closed for the holidays and a tragedy that happened on a Sydney construction site recently is an example why.
A young boy was killed after being crushed on a building site in Sydney’s south-west. Initial reports said the boy was eight however it was later reported that he was 10 year old Erwin Makafana.
Police were called to the scene of the construction site on George Road at Leppington last week after someone reported a boy being knocked unconscious.
The boy was found at the site of a church under construction. He had been playing with some concrete slabs which fell on him, crushing him. He died shortly thereafter.
A report on SkyNews.com.au explains what happened:
The boy was rushed to Liverpool Hospital, however he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Police will now prepare a report for the coroner. Initial inquiries suggest the boy was playing on a pile of concrete slabs, when some of the slabs slipped and fell on top of him.
The boy was apparently playing at a Tongan community church construction site in Sydney when he died. He had been playing with concrete slabs on the property when they slipped and crushed him.
Emergency crews rushed the boy to hospital but he died on arrival. Work on the site has since been suspended.
The pastor of the Sydney Tongan Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Pastor Sitiveni Fine Teaupa said all work on the church hall construction site had been suspended until a thorough investigation was completed. In a post on Echo.net.au he explained how tragic the loss was to the community:
‘I am devastated by this accident. Our whole community is heartbroken. There is nothing more precious to us than our children,’ he said in a statement.
‘Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. We are all in deep shock.’
Police will prepare a report for the coroner.
Before the start of the Christmas holidays authorities, including WorkCover issued warnings across the country to companies in the construction fields to ensure that sites were properly secured and locked.
This tragic incident proves why securing the site is of such importance. Often during the holidays unsuspecting children wander onto construction sites looking for places to play and worse, looking for things to play with. Unfortunately unguarded machinery and unlocked machinery, equipment and building materials seem like fun to little kids, not knowing how dangerous they really are.
There is a reason why everyone engaged in construction needs to complete white card training, because it teaches them about the hazards and risks associated with construction sites so that they aren’t injured or killed by the materials, equipment or environment.