A Kiwi father has died in Western Australia after falling a "considerable distance" at work.

Benjamin White fell to his death at Alcoa's Kwinana Refinery in Perth yesterday around midday.

Mr White, according to his Facebook page, is survived by his wife Elizabeth and their young children. He grew up in Waitara and attended New Plymouth Boys' High School.

Kwinana Refinery is on the shore of Cockburn Sound at Kwinana, near Fremantle, Western Australia.


Conflicting reports suggest Mr White fell between 10 and 40 metres, WA Today reported.

Friends and family in New Zealand were left reeling by the news of his death.

Joseph White wrote on Facebook: "Words cannot express the pain nor emptiness that is engulfing all our hearts and minds at the moment. He was a true gentlemen, a valiant young man taken too early."

"Cannot express how much sadness we feel - we love you brother Ben and our hearts are with you Liz and babies," said another friend.

WA Today reported that The Department of Mines and Petroleum, which is investigating the incident, said Mr White had entered a digester vessel that had no scaffolding.

It said he fell a "considerable distance" to the bottom of the vessel.

Mr White was a contractor at the refinery.

Alcoa of Australia, which owns the refinery, said in a statement that it was "deeply saddened" by the death.


It said at approximately 12.30pm yesterday a contractor was fatally injured in a fall at the Kwinana alumina refinery.

"The entire Alcoa workforce has been affected by the tragic loss of our colleague and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

"Kwinana Refinery's current focus is on the wellbeing of its people and counselling services are being provided to employees and contractors on site. All non-essential work activities have been suspended, however production is being maintained."

The company said no other employees or contractors were injured in the accident and Alcoa is now working closely with the relevant authorities.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family and has so far raised more than $17,500.

There has been 153 donations and the page has been shared 785 times on Facebook.