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Girraween builder fined$135,000 after injury at Doonside building site

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean MP

A building company has been fined $135,000 after a worker suffered horrific injuries in a fall at a Western Sydney building site, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.

Universal Property Group Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of workers at the Doonside site after a young man fell through a void that was not properly covered, and lacked any signage to warn staff of the potential danger.

Mr Kean said the 21-year-old assistant surveyor from Merrylands sustained a 10 centimetre puncture wound, a fractured pelvis, and three spinal fractures in the 2015 incident.

“This poor young worker lost half his blood and needed an urgent transfusion after he fell to the ground, striking steel reinforcing bars on the way down,” Mr Kean said.

“Tragically the worker moved the piece of unmarked plywood that was covering the void, believing it was simply spare supplies.

“Universal Property Group was ultimately responsible for ensuring contractors took the necessary steps to stay safe while at work on the Doonside building site.

“I want to ensure that every worker who heads off to work in the morning returns home safely to their family at night, and that’s exactly why SafeWork will continue to crack down on any businesses not doing the right thing.”

SafeWork NSW recommends all voids should be securely covered with a structurally graded cover, painted in bright colours, and marked with appropriate warnings.

Last year SafeWork NSW successfully prosecuted 34 offenders and issued 218 penalty notices.   

Universal Property Group has the right to appeal.