Boy, 12, dies after working on Plymouth Brethren Church building site

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Twelve-year old boy Albert Sharpe, who died recently following a workplace incident at the worksite of the new Plymouth Brethren Church meeting hall. Supplied by the Plymouth Brethren Church.

Twelve-year old boy Albert Sharpe, who died recently following a workplace incident at the worksite of the new Plymouth Brethren Church meeting hall. Supplied by the Plymouth Brethren Church.

A 12-year-old member of the Plymouth Brethren Church has died from the injuries he received while working at a building site in Northam.

The accident occurred at the construction site of the new church meeting hall, located on the corner of East Street and Frankish Street, about 11am on Saturday, November 25, 2017. 

Plymouth Brethren Church spokesperson James Bagshaw said Albert Sharpe was gyprocking with a team of men on one section of the property at the time of the accident.

“They were finishing up a simple task, putting sheets up and screwing it to the frame,” he said.

A statement from the church to the Avon Valley and Wheatbelt Advocate said Albert was at the site with his father Daniel, who was a volunteer. 

WA Police media liaison officer Susan Usher said police and St John Ambulance officers attended the incident.

She said Albert was taken to Northam Hospital and later transferred by helicopter to Royal Perth Hospital, where he died the following day.

The new Plymouth Brethren Church meeting hall construction site on East Street in Northam. Photo by Carla Hildebrandt.

The new Plymouth Brethren Church meeting hall construction site on East Street in Northam. Photo by Carla Hildebrandt.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and WA Police are preparing a report for the Coroner,” she said. 

Ms Usher said the specific details surrounding the death would be investigated by the Coroner and made available.

The WA occupational health and safety regulator, WorkSafe, told the Avon Valley and Wheatbelt Advocate they were unsure if the department had jurisdiction to investigate the boy's death.

It was understood he was a volunteer and there was no formal working arrangement, the spokesperson said.

Albert attended a Plymouth Brethren Church school called Woodthorpe School, located in Cunderdin. 

Mr Bagshaw said the family was still coming to terms with the tragedy and asked that their privacy be respected.

“The loss is a tragedy for the family and the wider community and will affect the school in the days ahead,” Mr Bagshaw said.

“Staff and students at the Woodthorpe Cunderdin Campus will be offered counselling during this very difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family involved. The school and the church community is providing support and assistance.”

The funeral was held last Wednesday at the Northam Cemetery where Albert was buried.