Contractor falls to death at sugar mill

2016-05-11 10:00
Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue officers lower the body of a man who died after falling through a roof at Eston Illovo Sugar Mill.

Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue officers lower the body of a man who died after falling through a roof at Eston Illovo Sugar Mill. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - An Illovo Sugar Mill contract worker fell to his death through the roof of a pump station on Monday afternoon.

Willie Nel was apparently removing sheeting from the roof of a pump station when the accident happened.

Pietermaritzburg Police Search and Rescue officer Jack Haskins said it appeared that some of the sheeting came loose and Nel fell about 20 metres.

Illovo Sugar said in a statement sent to The Witness yesterday that the accident happened at around 5 pm on Monday.

“It is with deepest regret that Illovo Sugar confirms that Willie Nel, one of the contractors conducting work at our Eston Mill, sustained fatal injuries and passed away when he fell through partially removed sheeting of a pump house roof,” said the statement.

“Nel had been removing roof sheeting to facilitate the rigging out of an electric motor when the accident occurred.”

The statement said “that in line with safety procedures”, three scaffold towers were erected to enable access to the roof.

Illovo Sugar said all contractors were issued with protection equipment for working at heights prior to the start of the work.

“A full investigation involving ­Illovo senior management and other relevant authorities, including the police and the Department of Labour, is under way,” said the statement.

“We extend our sincere condolences to the family of Willie Nel.”

Haskins said an inquest docket had been opened at the Mid Illovo Police station following the incident.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accident  |  death

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