A land development agency allegedly warned a building developer its construction site wasn’t safe a year before scaffolding collapsed and killed a young tradesman.
Construction apprentice Christopher Cassaniti, 18, died at Macquarie Park in north-west Sydney on April 1 when a 15-metre tower of scaffolding fell on top of him.
Landcom was allegedly so concerned about the ‘nbh’ site they reached out to its developer Greenland in November 2017, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The infrastructure agency wrote to Greenland on November 22 to raise ‘grave concerns’ about the developer’s safety measures for its construction workers.
Construction apprentice Christopher Cassaniti, 18 (left with mum Patrizia), died at Macquarie Park in north-west Sydney on April 1 when a 15-metre tower of scaffolding fell on top of him
Landcom was allegedly so concerned about the ‘nbh’ site at Macquarie Park (pictured) in northwest Sydney, that they reached out to its developer Greenland in November 2017
In a letter, signed by Landcom’s chief executive John Brogden, the agency allegedly requested Greenland to engage experts to ‘install appropriate fall protection’.
Landcom reportedly drew attention to several ‘severe’ safety issues, which the building developer had allegedly not addressed.
A week later, Landcom development director Greg Betts reported the ‘multiple serious safety issues’ at the Greenland construction site to SafeWork NSW.
‘Landcom is greatly concerned that a major incident, or worse, a fatality may occur from Greenland’s poor (workplace health and safety) management practices,’ the letter stated.
Less than 18 months later, on April 1, 18-year-old Mr Cassaniti was killed at the site after nine storeys of scaffolding and concrete fell on top of him.
His mother Patrizia, who served coffee at a mobile truck down the road, was on the site within minutes after the disaster and was told her son was trapped.
Landcom is believed to have reported 39 issues to SafeWork NSW regarding the Greenland Australia construction site (left and right)
Mr Cassaniti’s mother, Patrizia, who served coffee at a mobile truck down the road, was on the site within minutes after the disaster and was told her son was trapped
‘I was in total denial. I just screamed and I said, ‘No. It’s not possible, he’s too young,’ Mrs Cassaniti told 60 Minutes.
At the time, speculation was rife as to what caused the collapse, which also hospilatised a 39-year-old tradesman.
An investigation is under way to determine the exact cause of Mr Cassaniti’s death as his parents are calling for industrial manslaughter charges against operators.
While Greenland was the developer, construction was managed by Sydney builder Ganellen, and the scaffolding provided by Synergy Scaffolding Services.
Christopher Cassaniti, 18, was killed at the site after scaffolding collapsed on top of him
According to documents obtained by the Herald, workers had been on site without safety equipment and excavation equipment were left with keys left in the ignition.
Landcom is believed to have reported 39 issues to SafeWork NSW regarding the Greenland Australia construction site.
The issued ranged from ‘open hoardings … to public space with an approximate drop of 15m’ to ‘workers working in excavation adjacent to the open hoarding without hard hats or protection from falling objects’.
But despite providing a lengthy report to SafeWork NSW, highlighting various safety issues, an inspector from the authority allegedly declined to comment on the matter.
The Sydney Morning Herald previously reported Synergy had also allegedly warned Ganellen about alleged safety concerns relating to scaffolding on the site.
SafeWork NSW reportedly declined to comment on why no action was taken to investigate the claims, despite Landcom allegedly reporting its concerns, the Herald reported.
‘All notices issued to the sub-contractor on site in December 2017 … were complied with,’ the SafeWork NSW spokesperson said.
A SafeWork NSW spokesman told Daily Mail Australia on Friday Safework’s investigation is ongoing.
‘SafeWork is continuing to investigate following the death of an 18-year-old man at a building site in Macquarie Park,’ the spokesman said.
Greenland Australia has also allegedly declined to comment on the matter given the ongoing investigations.
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Landcom and Greenland Australia for comment.