A man has fallen 20 metres to his death down an open shaft while drilling on a Melbourne construction site.

The formworker died after a platform gave way at the Royal Elizabeth apartments building site on the corner of Pelham and Berkeley streets in Carlton.

CFMEU occupational health and safety manager Gerry Ayers said the worker had been sitting on a temporary platform before he fell.

“He was sitting on a platform drilling some holes, apparently to get some steel ready to be put in, and that temporary platform has given way,” Dr Ayers said.

“He’s fallen off, approximately 20 metres and he hasn’t survived.”

The man was working at the PDG Group development for contractors Concorp.

Dr Ayers said authorities were still trying to find the man’s next of kin, and counselling would be offered to co-workers.

This was first construction death in Victoria in 2016, he said.

“This highlights the inherent dangers our construction workers face every minute of every day they are on a job site,” he said.

“We can’t allow this to continue, especially in the year 2016, it’s utterly unacceptable that these events occur.”

Worksafe will investigate the incident.

Dr Ayers expects the investigation to look at structural integrity and capacity of the platform, and that the site will be closed for several days.

Concorp and PDG Group declined to comment.