Bankstown builder fined $405,000 over apprentice fatality

Ministerial Media Release | 28/03/2018

A Bankstown building contractor has been fined $405,000 after a 19-year-old apprentice tragically died after being injured at work, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.

Co-Wyn Building Contractors Pty Ltd recently pleaded guilty in the Sydney District Court to failing to protect the health and safety of its workers.

Mr Kean said the court action comes after a Punchbowl carpentry apprentice died after suffering a fall while building a walkway platform on a Strathfield construction site.

“This was the first time the second-year apprentice had undertaken this type of work, during which he had a fall when he was left without proper supervision,” Mr Kean said.

“This poor young worker was later found lying on a concrete floor with serious head injuries.”

Mr Kean said despite undergoing surgery, he tragically died when he was taken off life support less than a week later.

“This was absolutely devastating for this young man’s family, who have had to pick up the pieces following his death,” Mr Kean said.

“It’s something no family should ever have to go through.”

In sentencing, Judge Andrew Scotting said the apprentice was vulnerable due to his lack of experience in the workplace, and his death had a profound impact on his family.

“Every worker, particularly those who are young and possibly entering the workforce for the first time, has the right to expect they’ll be protected from this sort of incident,” Mr Kean said.

“My priority is making sure that every worker who heads off to work in the morning returns home safely to their family at night.”

Last year SafeWork NSW successfully prosecuted 34 offenders and issued 218 penalty notices. Co-Wyn has the right to lodge an appeal.

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