Workers to decide on return



ABOUT 300 construction workers at the Peppers Resort and Salt developments south of Kingscliff will meet this morning to decide whether to return to work in the wake of a safety audit carried out after the death of one of their fellow workers on site last Saturday.

Michael Palmer, 46, of Worongary on the Gold Coast, was killed instantly on Saturday morning when an all-terrain crane lifting a load of concrete at the Peppers resort site tipped over, striking him on the head.

The Barclay-Mowlem site was closed after the concretor's death and fellow members of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) voted unanimously on Monday to halt work for 48 hours while the union and WorkCover officials investigated the fatality and carried out a safety audit throughout the site.

Workers also placed a ban on the all-terrain cranes on site until improved work methods were in place to guarantee a repeat of the accident would not occur.

CFMEU's State safety co-ordinator Dick Whitehead flew to the Tweed from Sydney to inspect the site and carry out a safety audit with other union and WorkCover officials.

Mr Whitehead said a safety committee meeting yesterday morning decided to do a complete audit of both the Peppers and Salt sites that found a number of problems which, though not of a major nature, were still of concern in terms of safety.

Rectification work, he said, was still ongoing late yesterday.

The workers at the sites, he said, were "still pretty shook up" about the death of their workmate, which not only affected them but their families "because they worry about who's going to be the next one".



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