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'I've lost a brother': Auckland construction site safety incidents spike

Newshub logoNewshub 22/12/2018 Lydia Lewis
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The number of safety incidents in the construction industry has been dramatically spiking as more people become aware of the need to report unsafe work sites.

Across all construction sites in Auckland there has been a spike in safety incidents, with 175 in November compared to 47 in April 2016.

Sonny and Amy Akulu have been concerned for the safety of construction workers on a development site next door to them.

Last Saturday in stormy Auckland weather, a large chunk of their land slipped away, taking their washing line with it and leaving their shed on the edge.

"Every day and night you can hear land slipping away and you're lying there thinking, 'What's going to happen next?'" said Ms Akulu.

"[The construction workers have] been working under the tree area - it looks like it's floating."

The Akulu family believe someone could have died.

a construction site © Newshub

Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart photographed one worker digging next to the unstable bank and Worksafe has now ordered the tradies to stay away. They'll have to use machinery to stabilise it.

For Ms Stewart, danger in the workplace is personal.

"I've actually lost a brother from a work accident in Sydney so I know what it's like," she said.

Jeff Fahrensohn, Auckland Council's inspections manager, says there has been a crackdown lately, but people are also "a lot more aware of their responsibilities and we're finding a lot more people are reporting unsafe incidents".

He says a near miss is just as important as reporting a hazard itself.

"The first thing is assessing the risks and hazards out there before you start work, even work conditions."

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