In the wake of three deaths, dozens of serious injuries and significant property damage caused by vehicles fitted with loading cranes (VLCs), the Queensland Government recently launched an education and enforcement campaign to prevent further tragedy.
The campaign responds to an agreement between Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the Coroner that there was a clear need to educate operators and enforce the safe use and operation of VLC stabilisers and outriggers.
In the last decade, there have been three fatalities in Queensland, a number of serious injuries, and extensive property damage on public roads after a VLC stabiliser or outrigger arm extended during travel and struck other vehicles or pedestrians.
Between 2012 and 2018, there were also 18 known incidents involving the mechanical failure of an outrigger or stabiliser arm.
Head of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Simon Blackwood said there are approximately 60,000 VLCs on Australian roads, with around 10,000 of those based in Queensland.
“Through this campaign, we want to educate VLC operators on how to use their cranes safely and completely eliminate stabilisers and outriggers extending during travel,” Blackwood said.
“It’ll be done over two years, from now through to 2020 in conjunction with the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
“The campaign will encourage retro-fitting of warning devices for stabilisers and outriggers and emphasise how important it is to use safe work procedures to minimise human error.
“We are also advocating for changes nationally, in particular to the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual.
“With assistance from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, a state specific inspection requirement will be introduced in Queensland.
“This will allow accredited inspectors to check stabilisers and outriggers fitted to vehicles as part of their annual safety inspections and require repairs to be made if defects are found.”
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