A worker jumped for his life to escape a blaze on a South Australian jetty on Wednesday afternoon.
Fire crews were called to the Whyalla jetty, on the Eyre Peninsula, about 12.45pm after 75 metres of the 150-metre, plastic-coated structure went up in flames.
A Metropolitan Fire Service spokesperson said the fire was caused by sparks from cutting equipment coming into contact with combustible material.
There were several workers on the jetty at the time. One was treated by paramedics after jumping into the ocean to escape the blaze.
It took four crews about half an hour to bring the fire under control. The damage bill is still being investigated.
It came on a deadly day for Australia’s construction workers, with two killed and two seriously injured in just hours on Wednesday morning.
The first fatality came early in the day at a pallet factory in western Sydney, when a 30-year-old man died after his head became trapped in a machine. Paramedics arrived at the factory in Forrester Road, St Marys, to treat the worker but he died at the site.
Safework NSW said it would investigate the incident, while NSW Police said a brief would be prepared for the coroner.
Later in the morning, a 56-year-old man died in the central Victorian town of Ballarat after a wall collapsed during a house demolition.
Victoria Police said the house was being levelled in Kenworth Place in suburban Mount Pleasant when the wall collapsed on the man about 9am. He died at the scene.
Tim Wilson was among those who were supposed to be working at the Ballarat site on Wednesday.
“That could have been us down there,” he told the ABC.
“It could be one of us that’s not going to go home to see their family tonight.”
WorkSafe is investigating the collapse and inspectors have been interviewing neighbours in nearby streets.
Police are yet to formally identify the man.
Falling from a height is the # 1 cause of death & permanent disability in the formwork industry. Formworkers (& other structural tradies) are susceptible to falls from heights, being hit by falling objects & muscular stress. Help make your industry safer: https://t.co/OcpqJE3x8E pic.twitter.com/RcwCWZptXZ
— SafeWork NSW (@SafeWork_NSW) September 4, 2019
Back in Sydney, a worker is reportedly in a critical condition in hospital after falling from scaffolding at a Point Piper mansion on Wednesday morning.
The Sydney Morning Herald said paramedics treated him at the scene for head and suspected spinal injuries after he fell about eight metres.
Also in Sydney, police and ambulance were called to a construction site on Miller Street, Pyrmont, after reports that steel pipes had fallen and hit a man in the head.
He was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with minor injuries, the SMH said.
In April, an apprentice formworker was crushed to death – just a week after his 18th birthday – and another worker was critically injured after scaffolding collapsed at a building site in Sydney’s north-west.
Devastated relatives of Christopher Cassaniti said at the time that no other families should have endure their “horrendous pain” and they did not want their son to become a statistic.
“We ask that the government step in and take immediate action and implement stringent measures regarding safety on construction sites,” the teenager’s father, Robert Cassaniti, said.
“Crucial safety checks and procedures need to be at the front and centre of every construction site.
According to Safe Work Australia, 101 people have so far died at work in Australia in 2019 (as at August 29). In 2018, 149 Australian workers were killed.
The transport and warehousing, construction, agriculture and fishing industries account for the bulk of workplace deaths.
Queensland is examining nearly 20 years of mining deaths after six industry fatalities in the state in 2019.