NSW: five deaths at workplaces in four days prompts safety reminder

Five workplace fatalities and several workplace incidents which resulted in serious injuries over one week serve as a tragic but timely reminder to employers and businesses about safety, according to SafeWork NSW.

In 2022, there was approximately one workplace fatality a week in NSW, but in a period of four days, five people died at workplaces across the state, including:

  • On 29 January, a 77-year-old man was visiting a factory in Griffith where he was struck by a forklift. The man was rushed to hospital where he died in the following days.
  • On 31 January, a 28-year-old man died after falling when he was electrocuted conducting air conditioner repairs in Engadine.
  • On 31 January, a 51-year-old man died after he lost control of a side-by-side all-terrain vehicle and was thrown while on a cotton farm in Narromine.
  • On 1 February, a truck driver was located unresponsive on the ground of a loading bay in Dubbo.
  • SafeWork is also investigating a 1 February fatal motorbike incident on a property 120km east of Tibooburra.

 SafeWork has also been notified of several workplace incidents which resulted in serious injuries, including an incident on 27 January where a construction worker fell around 3-4 metres from a scaffold in Eastwood, resulting in serious head injuries.

The regulator said business owners must ensure workers, especially those involved in high-risk areas such as working at heights, electrical and moving plant and machinery, are properly trained and instructed on how to do their job safely.

“Five deaths in four days is a tragedy and my condolences are with families, friends and colleagues of those who have sadly lost their lives,” said NSW Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis.

“Business owners must ensure their employees are always practising safe work practices, and, as we head into February, these deaths serve as a tragic reminder to ensure workplaces are up to date with safety equipment and compliance.”