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A Thornleigh builder has been fined $75,000 after a carpenter suffered serious brain injuries when he fell through an unprotected stairwell void, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.

CTN Construction Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of workers, specifically by not providing guard rails or suitable cover at a Roseville residential construction site in September 2015.

“The Sydney District Court was told this 67-year-old man sustained a traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures to his skull and face, a punctured lung, a fractured collarbone and minor neck fractures that left him in hospital for two months,” Mr Kean said.

“Incidents like these are entirely avoidable – yet this poor worker has had to pay a high price for sloppy workplace practices.”

Mr Kean said the SafeWork investigation found the worker had not been provided with information and training about the void, and there were no control measures in place to address the risk.

“It doesn’t matter how well you think you know a site, or your experience, incidents will happen when you get complacent and don’t provide a safe working environment,” he said.

“There are no winners in this latest court case but I hope it can serve as a reminder to all employers that the safety of workers must come first so everyone returns home safely to their family each night.”

There really is no excuse for not protecting voids or falls in the workplace. There are numerous tools and devices that you can use to stop this kind of incident, most of which can be hired even. Make sure you are across this aspect of your safety and if you subcontract to a builder who isn’t across this stop work until it’s fixed, it’s simply not worth the risk.

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