Crane Worker Plunges to his Death on Melbourne Site

Another construction accident today brings the number of construction workers killed at work this year to 8, a shocking start to the year.

A mature and experienced crane operator in Melbourne fell from a crane platform, 35 metres to his death in the early hours of Monday morning. The victim, Billy Ramsay was reportedly a well-loved member of Grocon’s workforce.

The incident occurred on a Grocon site and work was been halted on all of Grocons sites as co-workers and supervisors recovered from the shock of the incident. Grocon said they shut down the sites as a mark of respect. The man was a 59 year old, very well respected crane driver in the construction industry in Melbourne and came from a family well respected in the construction industry.

The incident occurred on the same site that was the source of contention last year when unions caused blockades to the site due to safety concerns. CFMEU members and supporters protested at the site during a 16-day protest in August and September. The victim was thought to be employed by Grocon for the last 2 years and some newspaper reports suggest that he was part of the disputes last year.

Read more about the tragic incident below with a post I found on

286382-crane-driver-dies-at-vic-construction-siteBuilder Grocon shut down all its Victorian construction sites on Monday as a mark of respect after the man fell from scaffolding at the Myer Emporium site.

“Our sincerest thoughts and condolences go out to the family,” Grocon CEO Daniel Grollo told reporters at the CBD site, near the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale streets.

Paramedics were called to the site just before 7am (AEDT) on Monday but were unable to save the man, an Ambulance Victoria spokesman said.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) state secretary John Setka said the man leaves behind a family and children, some of whom work in the building industry, and he had been involved in last year’s union protests.

“This has got nothing to do with walking off Grocon jobs or anything along (those) lines,” he told reporters.

“We’re discussing a long-term union member … who has been killed and our number one concern now is to look after our members and look after the family and just have a grieving process.”

Lend Lease chief executive Steve McCann mentioned the death during an earnings briefing.

“I’d like to express our condolences, and our thoughts go out to the family of the worker involved and everyone involved on that project,” he said.

Read more:

The incident came as a shock because unlike many of the other accidents we’ve been hearing about on construction sites this year, this incident did not involve a trainee or apprentice worker but a highly experienced and skilled worker. It just highlights the nature of construction work and how dangerous work from heights can be.

The cause of the incident is still being investigated by the authorities and the company is working closely with them in this regard.



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