Co-worker saw tradie trip and fall down ventilation shaft

 

Tradies watched as their mate Mohamad Riche's dead body was lowered down by a crane off a five-storey construction site on Wednesday afternoon.

The 38-year-old worker fell five-storeys down a 30m ventilation shaft and couldn't be saved by emergency services.

Construction worker Mohamad Riche, who fell to his death on Wednesday. Picture: Facebook
Construction worker Mohamad Riche, who fell to his death on Wednesday. Picture: Facebook

Mr Riche fell just after 12pm and his body was removed from the Geneva Jordan Springs construction site, northwest of Penrith, at 5.30pm.

His mates working on the Coplex project stayed on site until his body was removed.

A co-worker who witnessed the incident said: "The guy was working on the roof to remove building material which was immediately adjacent to the shaft roof. He then tripped over and has fallen down the shaft."

Coplex, which has its head office in Parramatta and is directed by Rami and Danny Ibrahim, were contacted twice for comment but did not respond.

Mr Riche’s body is lowered from the construction site down to the ground about 5.30pm. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Mr Riche’s body is lowered from the construction site down to the ground about 5.30pm. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union NSW state organiser Rebel Hanlon was on site talking to the tradies offering them counselling support.

He said this was happening too much, with almost one man dying on a NSW work site every month.

Patrizia Cassaniti, whose son Christopher, 18, was killed in April when a nine-storey scaffolding tower collapsed on top of him and a workmate, said she has been left devastated after hearing about the workplace accident.

Police and emergency service workers in hard hats on the roof of the building. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Police and emergency service workers in hard hats on the roof of the building. Picture: Dylan Robinson

"Our grief is still so raw and I'm absolutely gutted to hear of the news today. Only two days ago a poor man got crushed under an excavator. This is crazy and more needs to be done," Mrs Cassaniti said.

"I'm not sure of the full circumstances surrounding the incident but if it is a workplace-related death, this is an unacceptable occurrence in a first-world country like Australia."

Mohamad Riche.
Mohamad Riche.

Mrs Cassaniti is spearheading the push for safer worksites across NSW and has set up the foundation Touched by Christopher, which will now look into helping the family involved in this tragedy.

"More needs to be done to ensure the safety of all workers on a construction site or any workplace. No one should go to work and not come home to their loved ones," she said.

"I'm talking to the committee to see if we have enough funds to help this poor family that is now in the same boat as us, grieving a loved one that went to work and did not come home."

Workers gather around before Mr Riche’s body is lowered down to the coroners van by a crane. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Workers gather around before Mr Riche’s body is lowered down to the coroners van by a crane. Picture: Dylan Robinson

A police statement released on Wednesday read: "There are no suspicious circumstances and police are working in conjunction with SafeWork NSW."

Mr Riche’s body is lowered down from the building. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Mr Riche’s body is lowered down from the building. Picture: Dylan Robinson

A brief will be prepared for the coroner.

The work site on Lakeside Parade, Jordan Springs. Picture: Dylan Robinson
The work site on Lakeside Parade, Jordan Springs. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Mohamad Riche.
Mohamad Riche.