NT WorkSafe recently issued an incident information release after being notified of a number of vehicle incidents involving National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) service providers and participants in recent months.
In the most serious incidents, two wheelchair-dependent participants were seriously injured in separate incidents due to the incorrect use of the fitted wheelchair restraint systems.
In the first incident, a participant serviced by a care provider in Alice Springs sustained a broken leg after their wheelchair jerked forward as the vehicle they were travelling behind suddenly braked.
In the second incident, a participant under the care of a Darwin support service fell from their wheelchair as the vehicle they were travelling in came to a halt as it approached a stoplight. As a result of the fall, the participant suffered a broken leg. In both instances, all restraints were not properly used at the time of the incident.
Transporting wheelchair-dependent persons in vehicles presents a risk for serious injuries or death, mainly as a result of unsafe securement practices.
NT WorkSafe strongly urged all workplaces undertaking such activity to ensure the following measures are in place, and that they are effective: