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WorkSafe visited Curtin University construction site three times before fatal roof collapse


He was one of dozens of construction workers on the Bentley campus site helping build the university’s new School of Design and the Built Environment building.

The other man who fell from the roof, aged 27, was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital and underwent emergency surgery on Tuesday afternoon.

A third worker, also 27, was on a lower level of the building when he was dragged down by the falling structure and plummeted 10 metres.

Following the incident, Electrical Trades Union WA branch organiser Damian Clancey and CFMEU WA state secretary Mick Buchan revealed safety concerns had been raised by staff before the tragedy.

“It seems to me that Lendlease (the builder) was well aware of an issue to the point where they brought a surveyor out here last week to determine the levels of sag in the steel after they put about half of the glass up,” Mr Clancey said at the time.

Mr Kavanagh would not reveal whether WorkSafe had received any formal complaints from workers, but said any claims put forward would be investigated.

A WorkSafe spokeswoman said inspectors had visited Curtin University six times, including three visits to the site of the incident.

Inspectors first attended the site in October 2019 for a proactive visit and again in February 2020 for a scheduled inspection.

Their latest visit was in June after a concrete piece fell from the back of a truck. No one was injured.

WorkSafe will use drones to assess the damage to the building.

WorkSafe will use drones to assess the damage to the building. Credit:Marta Pascual Juanola

“Some of those have been through queries from people on the site and some had been scheduled,” Mr Kavanagh said.

WorkSafe will use a drone to assess the damage to the building before work to remove the collapsed steel and glass roof starts in the coming days.

Mr Kavanagh urged any workers who witnessed the incident or who were present at the construction site to get mental health support.

“These incidents can be traumatic and it’s important that workers that are experiencing issues with their mental health talk to their mates, talk to industry experts, and get advice,” he said.

If you, or anyone you know, needs mental health support, please call a helpline such as Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

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