Worksites warned after teenager’s horror holiday injury

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
2 Min Read

A teenager’s horror fall from scaffolding in a New South Wales worksite has prompted stern warnings from the state’s workplace regulator.

The 13-year-old boy was visiting a construction site with an adult just three days before Christmas when he fell from scaffolding and was seriously injured.

He was later rushed to hospital, where he underwent surgery for a serious head injury.

The incident prompted SafeWork NSW to issue a warning last week about the dangers of taking children to construction sites.

“For a child, workplaces are exciting places, but they can also be extremely dangerous,” SafeWork NSW head Trent Curtin said.

“There needs to be protections in place to look after not just kids on school holidays but all visitors to the workplace, every day of the year.

“We are reminding businesses and parents they have obligations to supervise children, especially around machinery, hazardous chemicals and other risks on site.

“Simple safety prevention, like locking away chemicals and tools, putting in place falls protection, or removing the keys from machinery and vehicles when they are not in use are just a few ways to create a safer place for everyone.”

According to the regulator, 11 children under 14 die every year from work-related accidents, with 160 children being killed in similar incidents over the last 14 years. 

Mr Curtin said that while many parents take their children to work with them over the school holiday period, construction workers must be mindful of the penalties of having unlicensed people on site.

“If parents are planning for their child to take part in work on a construction site, they are reminded to ensure their child has a white card, is properly supervised and has been provided with adequate training,” he said. 

“If SafeWork inspectors find untrained, unlicensed and incompetent people on site, which can include children, this could result in the issue of fines or other notices.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.