Construction worker dies in Ballarat wall collapse
A 56-year-old man demolishing a house in Ballarat this morning has died after a brick wall collapsed on top of him.
- Police are yet to identify the man, who was killed in the wall collapse about 9:00am
- WorkSafe is investigating the death and has interviewed nearby neighbours
- The death has shocked other workers who were due to be at the site this morning
The wall collapsed about 9:00am at Kenworthy Place in Mount Pleasant.
WorkSafe is investigating the collapse and inspectors have been interviewing neighbours in nearby streets.
Police are yet to formally identify the man and will prepare a report for the coroner.
Steven Slater was among a group of fencing workers who were supposed to be working at the site today.
Mr Slater said he had been on his way to the site when he got a call from his boss telling him about the incident and asking him if he was okay.
A crew was demolishing a home in the Ballarat suburb of Mount Pleasant when the wall collapsed. (ABC News)
“It’s not real good to go to work and have that happen,” he said.
“It’s just not right.”
His workmate Tim Wilson said the reality of the situation was still sinking in.
“That could have been us down there this morning,” he said.
“It could be one of us that’s not going to go home to see their family tonight.”
Ballarat families push to prevent workplace deaths
Today’s fatality brings the total number of workplace deaths this year to 17.
The deaths of two Ballarat workers killed in a trench collapse last year spurred a campaign to introduce harsher penalties around workplace fatalities.
Charlie Howkins, 34, was laying pipes in the Ballarat suburb of Delacombe when the trench he was working in gave way, killing him instantly and trapping his 21-year-old colleague Jack Brownlee.
Heavy machinery was brought in to widen the trench to free Mr Brownlee, who was buried from the waist down in the 5-metre-deep trench.
Mr Brownlee died in the Royal Melbourne Hospital the following morning, despite undergoing four operations.
Since the accident, Mr Brownlee’s parents, Janine and Dave, and Mr Howkins’ wife, Lana Cormie, have been campaigning for the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws to hold employers accountable for the deaths of employees.