Greek Australian construction company and director lose licence after worker death in NSW

·

NSW Fair Trading has cancelled the contractor licence and permanently disqualified GN Residential Construction Pty Ltd, as well as imposed a 10-year disqualification on the company’s director Nicholas Kodomichalos, after the death of Christopher Cassaniti when scaffolding collapsed in April 2019.

In November 2020, GN Residential Construction pleaded guilty in the District Court of New South Wales to an offence under section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Mr Cassaniti suffered fatal injuries after an overloaded perimeter facade scaffolding collapsed on top of him. Fellow worker Kahled Wehbe was also trapped and suffered serious injuries. It was determined at the time of collapse the scaffolding was overloaded with a live load of more than 18 tonnes.

Greek Australian construction company and director lose licence after worker death in NSW.

It was also found ties connecting the scaffolding to a corresponding building had been removed. At the time of the incident, the scaffold was still in use despite most, if not all, of the ties having been removed. The court found the absence of ties would have been obvious if a visual inspection of the site had been conducted prior to collapse. However, the last inspection occurred a month before the incident.

GN Residential Construction Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $900,000 for breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in relation to this incident.

Following the conclusion of SafeWork NSW’s prosecution, the matter was handed over to NSW Fair Trading’s Disciplinary Action Unit (DAU), which determined GN Residential Construction, and its director Mr Kodomichalos, were not fit to hold a licence.

In February 2023, GN Residential Construction’s licence was cancelled, and the company was permanently disqualified from holding any authority under the Home Building Act 1989. In March 2023, Mr Kodomichalos was disqualified from holding any authority under the Home Building Act 1989 for 10 years.

Sophie Cotsis. Photo AAP Image

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

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

“An independent review is underway into SafeWork NSW including its effectiveness of compliance, enforcement and education.”

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

The Larcos family: Navigating generational trauma from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus

The Larcos family could never have anticipated the upheaval that awaited them when they made the decision to relocate from Australia to Cyprus.

A lifetime of diplomacy: A conversation with Prokopis Vanezis

It was an afternoon full of stories—many untold—poetry, dragons, and a single fairy unfolds as the present meets the past to discuss the future.

Cyprus’ cultural heritage is not for sale

For centuries, ancient artefacts, art, and relics have been a topic of ownership, provenance, and morality debates.

Beyond sheftalies: Cypriot Australian youth keep reunification flame burning 50 years on

Young Cypriot Australians, born decades after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, are grappling with the conflict’s enduring legacy.

50 years of occupation: Who remembers Cyprus?

At the Ledra Palace check point in Nicosia, Cyprus stands a red and white sign that reads: ‘TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS FOREVER.'

You May Also Like

Dr Nick Lygeros gives lecture in Sydney showcasing the value of Greek language

Dr Nick Lygeros gave a lecture on the Greek language on Sunday, March 5 at the Camelot Lounge in Marrickville, Sydney.

Sakkari takes out Ostapenko to advance to Ostrava Open quarter-final

It was an eventful game at the CEZ Arena of Ostrava as Maria Sakkari beat the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko

Chef Anna Polyviou shares her favourite artefacts from the ‘Open Horizons’ exhibition

Award-winning chef Anna Polyviou shares her favourite artefacts from the 'Open Horizons' exhibition at the Melbourne Museum.