At just 17 years of age, Aucklander Jeremy Haldane wanted to follow in the footsteps of his builder father.
In November 2017 he was 11 months into his building apprenticeship when he was crushed by a 400kg piece of timber roof framing and left wondering if he would walk again.
Somehow, he escaped paralysis but he's spent the past 11 months in and out of hospitals and visiting his physiotherapist.
The workplace incident hasn't put Haldane off the industry altogether but future isn't as bright as what it once was.
And he realises he won't be able to work in the industry of his father, Wade, or his brother, Damien, who was also holding the frame on the day.
The incident comes as construction industry deaths are at a record high, with 11 deaths in the first half of this year - more than in the whole of any previous year since WorkSafe records started in 2011.
"The fact that there have been 11 this year is seriously concerning," a WorkSafe spokesman said.
"That is a big jump for a group that, if you look back over the annual statistics, has been relatively not that bad."
A building boom saw the sector's workforce grow from 7.7 per cent of the total workforce in June 2011 to 9.2 per cent in June last year and 9.1 per cent in June this year.
But that can't explain a big jump in construction's share of all workplace deaths from 10.3 per cent of all deaths over the period 2012-18 to 22.9 per cent of all deaths so far this year.
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Haldane said he, his brother and another apprentice were tasked with sorting the framing for the new build one early morning at Albany Heights.
The trio picked up the monster frame and only once it was lifted above their heads did they realise how heavy it was. Struggling to walk with it, they paused, then a muscle went in the back of his colleague who then pulled out from under the weight.
"All three of us were under a lot of stress ... we were all trying to keep it up. I was trying so hard that I had my head down, looking at the ground, so I wasn't really aware of what was going on.
"I could feel that it was coming down. It got to the point where the two guys next to me were like 'this is coming down I'm going to jump out of the way', so they got out of the way, just. But I had nowhere to go because I wasn't fully aware of what was going on."
As he still held it above his head the weight of it pushed him down on to his knees.
"From there it landed on my shoulders and rolled on to my back."
He instantly felt a cold sensation shoot down his leg and became concerned he was paralysed.
He wasn't, but instead discovered his second to last vertebrae had burst, while five others fractured.
He spent a couple of weeks in hospital and then the next couple of months on crutches. However, even now he can't stand or walk for long periods.
He is now recovering from a second major surgery where he had all his "hardware" removed.
His employer, Just Brilliant Ltd and Ikon Homes NZ Ltd, were both charged by Worksafe NZ with failing to ensure the health and safety of workers at work in the business or undertaking, namely erecting timber frames, and that failure exposed the workers to a risk of death or serious injury, namely crushing by timber frames.
The companies are both due to be sentenced in the North Shore District Court today.
The incident comes as WorkSafe reveals construction industry deaths are at a 10-year high, with almost 90 per cent of workplace fatalities being male workers.
Since 2011, 134 workers between the age of 15 and 34 have been fatally injured in the workplace.
It's also the third time in recent years where workers have been paralysed or left with a permanent injury while working with frames or roof trusses.
Haldane said while he had a long road to recovery, he didn't want to see either of the companies handed down massive fines in court.
However, he did want to see them improve their health and safety procedures so it didn't happen to anyone again, and a change in culture in the building industry so it's not so intimidating for young workers to speak up and ask for help.
"There needs to be a point where somebody in the line says, there's two high frames here, they're too heavy for the boys to lift, we need a crane and they can organise that ahead of time.
"All I'm concerned about is what happens in their business and the industry from here on out.
"I would really like both of them to make quite dramatic changes to their health and safety protocols."
He would also like there to be compulsory "toolbox meetings" each morning so everybody had an idea of what the day had in store and any possible obstacles they might face.
"Just take five minutes, 10 minutes, toolbox meeting. If we had have done that we [would] have figured out that frame would have been too big."
His hope of being builder is now dashed, but he still wants to remain in the industry so he will retrain to get into either quantity surveying or project management.
SAFE INSTALLATION OF FRAMES AND TRUSSES
[source: WorkSafe NZ]
• Plan how work will be carried out safely,
• Involve workers in safety discussions,
• Use mechanical equipment, including cranes, to assist in installation