Lee Tapping, 33, died after a concrete mould fell on him at the Grafton Shoppingworld redevelopment site.
Lee Tapping, 33, died after a concrete mould fell on him at the Grafton Shoppingworld redevelopment site. Daily Examiner

Site death fine

THE construction company behind the 2008 redevelopment of Grafton Shoppingworld has been fined by the Industrial Court of NSW over the death of former Grafton man Lee Tapping.

McConaghy Built Pty Ltd entered a guilty plea to breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 2000 (section 8(2)) and was fined $35,000 in a decision handed down on December 16.

Justice Marks ruled McConaghy Built "failed to ensure that persons not in its employment, and in particular, Lee Michael Tapping, were not exposed to risks to their health and safety arising from the conduct of the defendant's under- taking while at the defendant's place of work".

Justice Marks also ordered McConaghy Built to pay the costs of the prosecutor, Workcover inspector Steven North.

Mr Tapping died after a 210kg concrete mould fell on him, striking him to the head and body on April 3, 2008.

He was rushed to the Grafton Base Hospital with fractures to the base of his skull, face, spine and ribs, swelling on his brain, significant damage to his spinal cord as well as internal lacerations to his left lung, and deep cuts to his right shoulder.

Due to the severity of his injuries, he was flown to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney but died the next day.

The penalty imposed on McConaghy Built brings the total of fines imposed over Mr Tapping's death to more than $170,000.

Mr Tapping's employer, Suncoast Formwork Pty Ltd, and its director, Garry Watt, were fined a total of $137,500 in the NSW Industrial Court in July last year.

A Workcover investigation found Suncoast Formwork failed to implement "appropriate safety protocols that would most likely have prevented serious worksite injuries".

Mr Tapping's parents, Susan Smith and Ken Tapping, have been assisted by the building union CFMEU since his death.

Investigations by the CMFEU revealed Suncoast Formwork had not registered Mr Tapping with the construction industry's superannuation scheme.

Mrs Smith declined to comment about any issues relating to her son's death to The Daily Examiner yesterday.

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