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Safety warning issued following serious crush injury

Date: 
Thursday, 16 April, 2020 - 09:30
Category: 
Policy & legislation
Location: 
Northern Territory

NT WorkSafe recently issued a safety alert highlighting the risk when not properly assessing plant and equipment or providing sufficient training or instruction of workers on equipment being used.

The alert was issued after a worker received serious crush injuries when a self-dumping bin full of building rubble tipped forward onto his leg.

The worker was standing in front of the bin when it tipped forward.

The alert said there were a number of possible contributing factors:

  • Limited risk assessments had been conducted on the plant and machinery at the workplace.
  • The bin was not identified as an item of plant that required a risk assessment;
  • The manufacturer’s instructions for the bin were not provided;
  • The worker was not provided training or instruction on the safe use of the bin;
  • The forklift tines were not fully inserted into the bin pockets;
  • The safe working limit of the bin exceeding the lifting capacity of the forklift;
  • The ground was soft due to recent rains;
  • The bin was able to tip forward because:
    • The forklift tines were clear of the bin’s pivot point;
    • The bin was raised off the ground; and
    • The bin safety chain was not used.
  • The worker was standing in the tipping path of the bin.

 

The alert subsequently recommended a number of required actions:

  • Ensure that risk assessments are carried out on all plant and machinery, including attachments, operated in the workplace to identify, assess and control all hazards to which people are likely to be exposed to;
  • Safe systems of work should be developed and all operators should be trained in the operation of the plant or equipment they are using;
  • Ensure the manufacturer’s instructions are provided with any equipment on site;
  • The bin should be placed on the ground before workers start loading the bin;
  • If the bin is elevated on the forklift, the tipping path of the bin should be an exclusion zone for workers.