The family of a teenager who died at work earlier this year have criticized the government for its failure to protect young workers.
Tyler Whitton, who had just turned 17, was working as an apprentice bricklayer in Brisbane when he fell about three meters on a West End building site in September.
He was rushed to the Royal Brisbane Hospital and placed in an induced coma, but could not be revived.
His devastated family attended a protest organized by the Construction, Forestry, Energy and Mining Union on Wednesday, where they called for tougher safety rules.
Just days after Tyler’s death, the union revealed it had visited the job site where he died in June and found a “huge fall from height” was a major safety issue.
Tyler Whitton, 17, was killed while working as an apprentice on a Brisbane construction site
Tyler’s family (left to right: brother Lucas, father Jack Whitton, mother Joanne Crisp and sister Chelsea) attended a rally organized by the union in Brisbane on Wednesday.
His grandparents, Liz and Jack Whitton, said there were “obvious” and “excruciating” dangers at the site when they visited after Tyler’s fall.
“Something needs to be done about industrial killings,” Ms Whitton told the Courier mail.
“Tyler was 17; he didn’t know it was going to happen that day. If there had been a barrier, he would still be enjoying Christmas with his family,” she said.
His other grandmother, Joanne Crisp, described the effect of Tyler’s death on the family as “heartbreaking.”
“I’m here for Tyler. We want to get his blood out of the concrete,” she said.
‘(His mother) she always cries for her son to come home.
Workers at the rally shouted: “Annastacia (Palaszczuk), you can stop this, workers’ lives are not for profit” and demanded “safe sites now”.
Tyler’s family attended the rally ‘to shed his blood from the concrete’ and demand more security
Hundreds of frustrated workers attended the rally in Brisbane on Wednesday and called on the government to review workplace health and safety inspection policies in Queensland.
CFMEU state secretary Michael Ravbar accused the state government of “failing to modernize” its safety rules, exposing workers to employers’ “greed”.
“They ignored repeated warnings about deteriorating safety standards and refused to eliminate the cancer at WHSQ,” Mr Ravbar said.
“Our members are sick and tired of seeing Labor politicians cry crocodile tears for dead workers and then do nothing to prevent another tragedy from happening.”
CFMEU assistant secretary Jade Ingham added: “We are no longer going to be treated as numbers on a spreadsheet, as a cost of doing business.”
CFMEU state secretary Michael Ravbar (centre) accused the state government of “failing to modernize” its safety regulations at a rally in Brisbane on Wednesday.
At the rally, participants shouted: “Annastacia (Palaszczuk), you can stop this, workers’ lives are useless” and demanded “safe sites now”.
In an earlier statement to Parliament, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace described Queensland’s workplace safety laws as “among the best in the country”.
“We will never stop our efforts to protect Queensland workers,” she said.