Home News WAS SAFETY IGNORED RESULTING IN TWO DEATHS?

WAS SAFETY IGNORED RESULTING IN TWO DEATHS?

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The site of the trench where the tragedy occurred.

We had already gone to print when this tragic accident occurred but we think it is important to shine the issue on safety and to honour two lost lives.

TRAGICALLY two workers have died after a trench collapsed at a Delacombe work site.

The accident happened around 11am last Wednesday with one man dying at the site and the other, who was trapped waist-deep in dirt, died later in the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The two men were laying pipes when the trench collapsed.

Other workers who were nearby rushed to the scene but there was little they could do and crews from Melbourne and Warrnambool were called in to help with the rescue effort and widen the trench.

Victoria Police Sergeant David Hermit from the Ballarat CIU said it took a number of hours to rescue him.

“It was quite traumatic for the male who has been rescued, he was conscious throughout,” he said.

“The trench appears to be quite unstable and we were concerned for the rescuers.

“It was a delicate and dangerous operation, and we had specialist crews and Worksafe on site.” Sen-Sgt Hermit added there was nobody present at the time of the accident and they were discovered by other workers.

“We don’t actually know how it’s occurred,” he said.

Travis Bramble was working on a nearby site and said they saw the two men that morning, standing by the trench.

“They were doing deep excavation work to lay pipes,” he said.

“This sort of stuff is very dangerous. From what I’ve been told, there was no shield. For a trench four metres deep, you’ve got to have a shield.” A trench shield is a metal structure which is used to protect workers from cave-ins.

The two men were a 34-year-old Broomfield man and 21-year-old Ballarat East man, Jack Brownlee.

The incident is till under investigation.