Non-disturbance notice remains in place as investigations into Braddon construction site incident continue

Released 30/01/2019

A non-disturbance notice by WorkSafe ACT remains in place on a Braddon construction site after a concrete precast panel fell at the site this morning.

The panel measuring 3.8 metres x 2.5 metres and weighing 3.7 tonnes fell when temporary supports were removed from the panel. The panel fell approximately 17 metres. No other panels were impacted.

The panel fell onto an amenities block in a neighbouring business in Mort Street, causing significant damage to that standalone building. No injuries occurred as a result of the incident.

As a precaution WorkSafe ACT placed an exclusion zone 20 metres around the site. This remains in place.

As a result some businesses such as Officeworks and the Braddon Smash Repair were closed.

An independent structural engineer has been commissioned by WorkSafe ACT to ensure the safety of other panels at the site.

Noting the age of the amenities block the panel hit, and as a precaution, WorkSafe ACT has also arranged for a licensed asbestos assessor to undertake testing to determine if bonded asbestos was present and this assessor is currently on site. If necessary further remediation works will then take place to allow the safe removal of the concrete panel. As a precaution the site was kept damp with the assistance of ACT Fire & Rescue and there is no risk to the broader community.

ACT Fire & Rescue also supported the establishment and management of the exclusion zone and safety on the site. To enable the safe movement of emergency vehicles on the site temporary road closures were put in place.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones thanked Fire and Rescue for their support and the broader community for the understanding while this important work took place.

“Today’s incident was significant and could have very easily been fatal,” Mr Jones said.

“WorkSafe ACT inspectors remain on site and will continue until late into the evening investigating the circumstances of  the incident.

“At this time we have received advice that the other panels are safe on the site however we will keep the non-disturbance notice in place until the inspectors conclude their work in obtaining evidence on this incident.

“I’d like to thank ACT Fire & Rescue for their support today as we worked to investigate the site and also keep it safe for our community. It is greatly appreciated.”

Mr Jones said that further regulatory action was anticipated in response to this incident.

“The investigation continues and further information will be issued in response to this matter,” he said.

“I’d like to remind all industry that safety should be number priority for all sites. Employers should ensure that appropriate Safe Work Method Statements are in place on all high risk work on their sites to ensure safety.”

- Statement ends -

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