• Max Bradford

Labour Minister Max Bradford today expressed his sincere condolences to the family, friends and workmates of the young construction worker who was crushed to death in Wellington yesterday.

"This is a tragic waste of a young life. I am deeply disturbed by yet another construction site death this year," Mr Bradford said.

This death brings the total number of construction deaths this financial year to 17 - seven more than for the whole of the previous year.

"This young man's death is distressing vindication of the decision for the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) to undertake a blitz on construction workplace safety," Mr Bradford said.

"The blitz has been criticised by some industry leaders who apparently believe they should be left alone to take responsibility for workplace safety. Obviously the death rate to date indicates employers and workers need stronger reminders to ensure that workers are safe."

Mr Bradford said OSH is currently investigating why so many construction workers are dying, particularly including a hard look at common factors in construction accidents.

"I expect OSH to report back within weeks, and for this to form the basis of further measures to cut the number of construction workplace deaths and accidents," he said.

"It cannot be said too often that one death is one too many."