Young Newcastle Dad Killed In Workplace Tragedy

He had a second child on the way

2 March 2017

Workmates who watched on in horror as a rigger was crushed to death by a large steel beam at a Sydney Harbour construction site are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

Tim Macpherson, aged in his 30s, died immediately when the heavy metal beam fell on his torso while he was working on a barge in the water at Barangaroo on Wednesday afternoon.

Hit 106.9 has learnt the victim is from Newcastle, and has a 14 month old child.

His partner is pregnant with their second child.

He had been working on the NSW government-led ferry hub project for at least six months.

Workers who saw the tragedy unfold are being offered counselling and support, CFMEU state secretary Brian Parker said on Thursday.

"They're very distraught. These guys work with each other for long hours together each week and some of them know each other better than they know their own families and friends," Mr Parker told AAP.

"One of them, who witnessed the whole thing, was particularly upset and spent the whole night speaking to police about the incident," he said.

The man's family visited him at the site in recent weeks, Mr Parker said.

It's not yet clear how the accident happened but it's understood the man was helping a crane driver move the two-to-four tonne metal beam when it swung into another, causing one to fall and topple on him.

The site was closed off on Thursday morning as NSW Police and SafeWork NSW investigate what happened.

There have been at least 1500 accidents or injuries at the Barangaroo site in recent years, Mr Parker said, with Wednesday's the first fatal one.

He also raised concerns about the rising number of workplace-related deaths across NSW, saying the recent introduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) was restricting union officials from entering workplace sites.

"If we're not allowed to get into these sites then we can't spot potential hazards and there could also be a significant number of unreported incidents taking place," he said.

NSW Infrastructure minister Andrew Constance has offered his condolences to the man's family and colleagues.

"In this horrific time for the man's family, friends and colleagues I would like to pass on my deepest sympathies and thoughts," he said in a statement.

"I trust our NSW government agencies will co-operate fully with all investigations into this very sad incident".


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