Tributes flow for Launceston fall victim

FRIENDS and sporting teammates have paid tribute to a Launceston man who died in hospital yesterday after falling from the roof of a Devonport construction site.

Leigh Anthony Reaney, 20, was working at the Devonport Homemaker Centre on Monday when he fell 4.5 metres on to a concrete slab and was critically injured.

The apprentice roofing contractor was treated by workmates before paramedics arrived and took him to the Mersey Community Hospital at Latrobe by ambulance.

He was later flown to the Royal Hobart Hospital but died about noon yesterday.

Tributes to Mr Reaney were posted on social media yesterday by Prospect Knights soccer teammates and other friends.

``R.I.P. Leigh! Some of the best memories spent away on soccer trips to the mainland! Always made the freezing cold trainings enjoyable! Best centre back combo in the state as you always told everyone!,'' one read.

Others included:

``R.I.P. Leigh, you'll be sadly missed around the club. A great guy taken way too soon.''

``R.I.P. Leigh. What a great young man you were. Always the life of any party. Will miss ya mate :(.''

``R.I.P. mate. We're all going to miss you. Words cannot express the sadness felt by us all this day.''

Workplace Standards and police were at the Fairbrother-operated site on Monday and yesterday.

Workplace Standards general manager Roy Ormerod said Mr Reaney was wearing a helmet and a harness at the time of the accident but his harness was not connected to a secure line.

He said his team was investigating why the harness was not attached.

Mr Ormerod said the cause of the accident was still under investigation, but Mr Reaney fell through a sump, or a large box covered with sheet metal that directed water from the guttering to the downpipe.

``That wasn't secured properly, but then it's probably not designed to take his weight anyway. We have to ascertain if it's risky behaviour or negligence and prepare a report for the coroner on causation.''

Fairbrother chief executive Craig Edmunds issued a statement yesterday that said the thoughts and wishes of the entire Fairbrother company were with Mr Reaney's family, friends and workmates.

``All of our people and our subcontract partners have been shaken by this terrible news,'' Mr Edmunds said.

``Fairbrother is co-operating fully with Workplace Standards Tasmania and the police who are conducting investigations and inquiries into this tragic incident.''

Counselling was offered yesterday to the roofing contractors and other staff who were on site at the time of the accident.

The area where Mr Reaney fell was cordoned off to allow investigations to be carried out but construction continued on the rest of the site.

The Devonport Homemaker Centre construction site.

The Devonport Homemaker Centre construction site.


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