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Kingston worksite shut after fatality

Date

Larissa Nicholson, Daniel Johns

Barney Catanzariti (left), Ben Catanzariti and Kay Catanzariti.

Barney Catanzariti (left), Ben Catanzariti and Kay Catanzariti.

A Canberra concrete company has been banned from using some of its equipment pending safety checks in the wake of the death of a 21-year-old employee from Griffith.

Concreter Ben Catanzariti was working at a Kingston Foreshore construction site on Saturday morning when he was struck by a 39m boom and died at the scene.

Workers were using a truck-mounted concrete boom pump to pour concrete on the ground floor of the new Dockside apartment development on Eastlake Parade in Kingston when the pouring boom broke away from the truck and fell to the ground.

Workers outside the Kingston site yesterday.

Workers outside the Kingston site yesterday. Photo: Colleen Petch

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said WorkSafe had put prohibition notices on Belconnen Concrete's other truck-mounted concrete boom pumps until it could check them for safety, a move the company had cooperated with.

Meanwhile, Mr Catanzariti has been remembered as a hard-working young man and a talented sportsman with a passion for family.

He moved to Canberra 18 months ago and had been employed by Belconnen Concrete for just four weeks when he died.

The spot where a worker was struck yesterday morning.

The spot where a worker was struck yesterday morning. Photo: Colleen Petch

His parents, Barney and Kay Catanzariti, travelled to Canberra yesterday to identify his body, and he also leaves behind his brother, Jack, and partner Kahliia Boyd.

Mrs Catanzariti said she had spoken to her son the night before he died, and told him she loved him and was proud of him.

''He touched a lot of people because he genuinely cared about them,'' she said.

''He wasn't your normal teenager … he had so much patience and respect but still lived life to the fullest.

''He spoke to us every day, sometimes a few times every day.''

Ms Boyd expressed her grief on Mr Catanzariti's Facebook page.

''You left me too soon, baby … I don't know how I'll get through this pain without you,'' she wrote.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union ACT assistant secretary Jason O'Mara said while Saturday's incident was unrelated to the three other building industry deaths in Canberra in the last eight months, it should prompt broader consideration of workplace dangers.

''Something needs to change … maybe we need to look at workplace fatigue and time pressure on jobs,'' he said.

Mr O'Mara described the nature of the incident as ''almost unheard of'' and said Belconnen Concrete had a strong safety record and used good quality equipment.

WorkSafe ACT and ACT Policing are still investigating the incident.

One of two other workers injured by the boom, a 39-year-old man from Yass, remained in a stable condition in Canberra Hospital yesterday and was due to undergo surgery on his leg today.

Construction Charitable Works chief executive Jason Jennings, who visited the man in hospital yesterday, said he may face a recovery period of up to 12 months.

The other injured man, a 26-year-old Canberra resident, has been released from hospital.

Yesterday, part of the construction site was cordoned off with police tape and the white boom remained on the ground.

Mr McCabe said WorkSafe had also put a prohibition notice on the site, and an engineer would inspect the equipment, after which it would be seized by the Australian Federal Police.

He said WorkSafe would consider today whether part of the site could be reopened.

On Saturday, ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell asked the Justice and Community Safety Directorate to prepare options for the government to investigate workplace safety.

Mr Jennings said his group would offer trauma response and counselling to the injured men and other workers who were onsite on Saturday. with The Area News

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