Andrew Wahlert died on a building site at Wallan. Picture: Supplied.
Andrew Wahlert died on a building site at Wallan. Picture: Supplied.

Devoted dad killed in fall at building site

A DEVOTED dad of two young children is being remembered after he tragically fell to his death on a building site.

Andrew Wahlert, 32, was working on a site at Wallan when he fell into a six-metre trench.

His friends have been devastated at the loss and his workmates were thinking of his family.

Mr Wahlert, who had been working in the industry since leaving school, fell at 2.50pm on Thursday.

Andrew Wahlert died on a building site at Wallan. Pic Supplied.
Andrew Wahlert died on a building site at Wallan. Pic Supplied.

His boss Rory Crowley, managing director of Crowley Excavation of Kilmore, said he was "shattered for his family."

"I'm worried about his family, he's got two kids and a wife," he said.

"His kids were playing in our office the night before it happened. He had picked his daughter up from daycare and they were playing in the office. It's shattering, their dad's gone."

There were at least two other workers within 10 metres of him but no-one saw him fall.

Mr Wahlert was backfilling trenches that had been dug for sewerage pipes on the new Springridge housing estate, 60km north of Melbourne.

The CFA has clarified that reports the trench had collapsed were incorrect.

Andrew Wahlert died on a building site at Wallan. Pic Supplied.
Andrew Wahlert died on a building site at Wallan. Pic Supplied.

It was unclear whether Mr Wahlert was removing a chain from a shield that was designed to make the trench safe.

"He's fallen in the hole, we don't know if he was taking the chain off the shield of if he was just working and slipped over," Mr Crowley said.

"It's something he would have done 5000 times."

Mr Crowley said his company had up to date safety procedures, with an internal audit done this week before the accident.

It comes as another worker was seriously injured on Friday in fall at Rosebud.

A man in his 40s fell 3m from a ladder on a building site of new townhouse, suffering life threatening injuries.

WorkSafe's Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety, Michael Coffey, said both accidents were a tragic reminder about safety.

"Falls are an all too common occurrence in the construction industry, and employers must do everything they can to protect their workers," Mr Coffey said.

"That one worker has died and another has been seriously injured in this way is simply unacceptable."

WorkSafe was investigating both incidents.

The Sunday Herald Sun was not suggesting Crowley Excavation fell short of any safety standards, only that the incident was being investigated by SafeWork NSW and SA but WorkSafe Victoria, WorkCover Queensland.

Mr Wahlert's friend Nathan Shalders said his heart went out to Mr Wahlert's partner and their young children.

"He was a gentleman, I really feel for his family and his co-workers," he said.

stephen.drill@news.com.au



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