WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert about the dangers associated with unloading objects from shipping containers, following a recent incident where an employee was crushed and killed unloading stone slabs.
A female employee recently died while unloading stone slabs from a shipping container.
The employee was inside the shipping container when the stone slabs fell, crushing her against the internal wall of the container.
This year, in Victoria alone, there have been a number of serious crushing incidents where slabs, panels or other objects have trapped a person against the floor or wall of a shipping container or other structure.
These have resulted in fatalities, amputations and musculoskeletal injuries affecting the trunk, back, shoulders and arms.
The speed, force and extent of movement of objects are commonly underestimated. Once the load begins to fall, there is often no opportunity to escape.
The risk of crushing or entrapment when unpacking shipping containers is increased by the following:
The alert said employers and self-employed persons should:
Ensure work is never done in the fall shadow of an object without suitable controls in place