A 27-year-old Bangladeshi UberEats rider died in a hospital on Saturday after being hit by a car in the southern Sydney suburb of Rockdale.
An off-duty paramedic treated Bijoy Paul before emergency services arrived, and took him to St George Hospital, where he died later that afternoon, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Seeking anonymity, a friend of the deceased said, "Paul had just collected food from the local McDonalds and was on his way to deliver it."
This is the fourth food delivery rider to die on Australian roads in the past three months. The incident has sparked an outpouring of grief from his fellow riders and calls for more protective equipment and better insurance from the sector's union.
Paul, who was also a Masters's student of information technology, went to Australia to study in early 2019.
Delivery riders paid their respects to Paul on Facebook, remembering him as someone who was "good and nice to all." Dozens responded, "Rest in peace".
A NSW government report released earlier this month found gig economy workers receive only limited safety advice from food delivery platforms, suffer abuse and often fear reporting incidents.
Michael Kaine, the national secretary of the Transport Workers Union, lashed gig economy companies like Uber in the wake of Paul's death.
"Riders are being put onto bikes with no training or protective gear, they are working our streets day and night for little pay," Kaine said. "They have no right to insurance and when they get injured or die, it's at the discretion of their companies as to whether they and their families get supported."
Kaine said that the federal government should act to change the legal regime that allows gig economy companies to classify their workforce as independent contractors, who do not get the same benefits like a minimum wage, workers compensation and superannuation that employees receive.
Unlike some gig economy companies, Uber offers insurance to its workers and a spokesman said it had been in contact Chubb, the company it has partnered with about Paul's case. Under the policy, riders can get $150 a day for 30 days if they cannot work because of an injury acquired while on a trip. It also includes lump sum payments if a rider dies.
"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Bijoy Paul who died in hospital following a road accident on Saturday," the spokesman said. "Throughout the weekend our law enforcement team engaged with New South Wales Police to offer our full assistance and notified SafeWork NSW."
The union, which also notified SafeWork, said an investigator had been appointed.