Canberra painter dies after falling from roof

Canberra painter dies after falling from roof

The death of a self-employed painter who fell from a residential roof has sparked safety warnings to tradies working alone in the territory.

The painter had slipped while working on the roof of a home in Canberra late last month, falling from the first floor.

He was a self-employed and was working alone.

The man was rushed to Canberra Hospital, but succumbed to head injuries and died a week later.

The ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said the death served as a reminder of the safety risks to tradespeople working alone.


He said there had been no evidence of fall protection at the work site, a problem common across the construction industry.

"We get a fair bit of resistance to things we require people to put in place, and this is a reminder that, every once in a while, it can lead to quite severe consequences," Mr McCabe said.

"It's probably one of the most common issues we come across in residential construction sites," he said.

ACT law requires that tradespeople working at a height above 2m have fall protection measures in place.

He said the risks were compounded when tradesmen were working alone.

"Working alone brings its own risks, because if something does happen to you, it's something that other people might not know," Mr McCabe said.

"That passage of time between whatever happens and when you're found can be critical," he said.

"We don't know that it was in this case, but it is an issue, people need to know where you are."

He said lone workers should follow a "check-in system", to let others know where they were.

"Things like making sure that someone does know where they are... and that there are check-in times," he said.

"If you don't meet those check-ins, people can be alerted."

Mc McCabe said there were no witnesses to last month's incident, and safety investigators were still trying to determine exactly what happened.

"My deepest sympathy goes out to the deceased worker's family and friends," he said.

"I can only hope that this tragedy will serve as a warning to other workers and their employers."

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