25 September 2023

SafeWork rejects unsound media report

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SafeWork NSW has responded to a media report linking the recent death of a teenage worker in Macquarie Park with an event in 2017, pointing out the two incidents are unrelated.

Referring to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled: ‘A fatality may occur letter reveals concerns over building site where teenager died ’, SafeWork said the safety issues raised by Landcom in 2017 had no relationship to the events at the Macquarie Park construction site.

It said the article referred to correspondence from Landcom to SafeWork in 2017 regarding safety concerns at the Macquarie Tower site excavation.

It reported that: “Despite raising those concerns, a SafeWork NSW inspector responded a week later to decline an offer to discuss the problems in the interest of impartiality”.

SafeWork said the correspondence referred to in the article said in full: “Thanks for the offer to meet on site, however in the interests of impartiality I think it is best I complete this matter without external influence (actual or perceived). I will ensure compliance with identified issues is met as per normal operating protocols”.

In a statement, SafeWork NSW said: “Notices were issued to the former Greenland contractor and were complied with.

“Rather than simply declining to discuss the problems, the inspector ‘ensured compliance’ would occur, issued Improvement Notices to the contractor, and noted they were complied with.”

It said that as a matter of protocol, people raising issues with SafeWork NSW were not included in compliance visits.

“During its investigation of the Macquarie Park scaffolding collapse, SafeWork NSW is working closely with other authorities as it prepares a report for the NSW Coroner,” the Agency said.

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