Workplace safety and union fines

In January 2014 a 30 year old man died at the Barangaroo construction site after falling from scaffolding. Despite on going union concerns about safety and supervision at the site, no legal action resulted from the man’s death.

In June 2014, 1,000 workers walked off the job for two days after a CFMMEU official was suspended following an altercation with the site manager over safety at Barangaroo.

In February 2017 a 32 year old man died after being crushed by a falling metal beam at Barangaroo. Union officials claimed they had been barred from inspecting the site a month earlier.

Despite calls for a coronal inquiry into the man’s death, none was held.

Last year eight workers died on construction sites in Australia. As of March 21 this year, there had been four deaths for 2019.

Last week an 18 year old man became the fifth person to died on a construction site this year when scaffolding collapsed on him.

In response, the Prime minister tweeted that it was “heartbreaking”.

On Friday the CFMMEU was fined a record $1.5 million, with a further $190,000 in fines for senior union officials, for the two day strike in June 2014. This was courtesy of the Australia Building and Construction Commission, reintroduced by the Turnbull government in 2016 with the help of One Nation, Nick Xenophon and Derryn Hinch.

This tells us great deal more about the government's attitude to workplace safety on construction sites than Scott Morrison's heart condition.

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