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Man Dies After Falling 10 Storeys High At Melbourne CBD Grocon Construction Site

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 18, 2013 2:20 PM EST

Just when everyone was preparing to go to work or school, paramedics were blaring sirens and rushing to reach the Grocon Myer redevelopment site at Melbourne's CBD in hopes to revive and save a man who accidentally fell from a scaffolding 10 storeys high above the ground. But death was instant the minute he slammed on to the pavement.

Colleagues described the still unidentified man as a "well loved" and "wonderful" fellow worker, a "terrific bloke" even. What added more injury to the shock and pain felt by the 60-year-old man's colleagues was that he was one of those with the most work experience on the site. In essence, they blamed his death on the ill safety practices and measures placed at the Grocon Myer redevelopment construction site.

Ironically, this incident comes over the site's 16-day blockade in 2012 that was ordered by the Construction Foresty Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) over health and safety representatives issues. The union wanted to have the right to appoint safety representatives at Grocon construction sites. The company believed that was not the real motive for their industrial dispute. The union was taken to court by Grocon and the state government, claiming the protest an unlawful blockade.

It is presumed this issue will again come into light after this unfortunate early Monday morning accident.

Immediately, Daniel Grollo, CEO of Grocon, called for the temporary closure of all its construction sites across Victoria to pay respects for the fallen worker.

"Our sincerest thoughts and condolences go out to the family,'' Mr Grollo told reporters at the site, located near the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale streets.

''As a sign of respect, Grocon has closed its sites across Victoria.''

Kelly Yates, a police spokeswoman, said it was believed the man fell from scaffolding shortly before 6.40am. But unfortunately, none of the other workers saw him fall.

Paul Bentley, ambulance spokesman, confirmed they received a call at 6.50am to rush to the site.

"We were called to a man who had fallen some distance, he was treated at the scene but unfortunately couldn't be revived," Mr Bentley said.

WorkSafe will investigate the incident and police will prepare a report for the coroner.

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