Worker crushed to death by stone slab at kitchen manufacturer

A man has been crushed to death at a kitchen bench manufacturer in Perth, in the latest of a slew of horrific workplace accidents happening around the country.

The man was killed by a slab of stone which fell on him at the company’s Bayswater factory yesterday, according to a report from The West Australian.

A Worksafe spokeswoman told the newspaper that it looked like the slab had fallen from a pallet when the pallet was bumped by a forklift.

The fatality joins numerous accidents at industrial sites being reported around Australia this month.

Worksafe Victoria said yesterday that two workers had died, one was missing and the other had been transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries during the past 24 hours. Victoria has mourned 21 deaths this year, with five of those occurring in the past 21 days.

The latest fatality happened at a boat manufacturing business when a 26-year-old worker sustained fatal head injuries when a 150kg piece of machinery fell on him from an overhead crane. The man died in hospital.

In another incident, a 37-year-old man was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries after he was crushed while undergoing repair works on a dock leveler. He is still in hospital undergoing treatment.

Worksafe health and safety executive director, Ian Forsyth, said the past two weeks had been a grim reminder of the importance of workplace safety.

“Christmas is traditionally about spending time with loved ones and we want to ensure this happens. Every worker deserves to go home at the end of the day. Tragically, 21 workers so far this year didn’t get that opportunity,” he said.

“The devastating consequences of a workplace incident are not only felt by the individual, but by the family, friends and the wider community and can last a lifetime.”

Forsyth urged workplaces to remain extra vigilant in the lead up to Christmas, with December being one of the busiest periods for most industries.

“What we have is an influx of young workers about to start work, industries such as hospitality and retail entering their peak season and other businesses finishing off large amounts of work before long term breaks are taken,” he said.

“Unfortunately, when businesses are flat out trying to keep up with demanding workloads, health and safety requirements can sometimes be compromised.

“We want employers and workers to question what is at stake if corners are cut. It’s simply not worth it.

“We’re calling on Victorian workplaces to stop, think and take action about improving safety. Simple steps make a real difference to individuals, families and businesses.

“We’re talking about general basic matters that can be fixed at little or no cost, but if left undone can have devastating consequences.”