NSW firm loses licence over death of teen apprentice


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A NSW construction company has lost its contractor licence after one of its apprentices died in a scaffolding collapse.

Christopher Cassaniti, 18, was killed when the 15-metre high scaffolding, overloaded with more than 18 tonnes of material, collapsed on top of him in April 2019.

His co-worker Kahled Wehbe was also trapped and suffered serious injuries.

GN Residential Construction in November 2020 pleaded guilty to offences under the Work Health and Safety Act and was convicted and fined $900,000.

The court found ties connecting the scaffolding to a corresponding building had been removed and yet it the scaffold continued to be in use.

NSW Fair Trading has now cancelled the company’s contractor licence and permanently disqualified it from operating.

The company’s director Nicholas Kodomichalos has also received a 10-year disqualification.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of those affected by this tragic incident,” Work Health and Safety Minister Sophie Cotsis said.

“The conviction and disqualification should serve as a warning to all contractors to maintain a strong focus on safety on their worksites.”


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