WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert following an incident in which a worker suffered serious crush injuries as a result of a large metal sliding gate falling on him.
At the time of the incident, the worker was opening the gate by manually sliding it to the right. The gate moved too far and travelled beyond the guides, allowing it to fall onto the worker and cause serious pelvic and leg fractures.
The gate was 5.4 metres long and 1.7 metres high, and it was so heavy that the injured worker’s colleague was unable to lift it.
WorkSafe has investigated similar incidents in the past. In 2005, a worker was injured by a falling gate at a factory in Kewdale. Also in 2005, a child was killed when a gate fell on her.
In 2009, a security guard at a transport yard was seriously injured when a gate fell on him. This incident led to the prosecution of the company in control of the workplace. This company was not the employer of the injured person, but the company that had engaged the services of the security company.
In 2015, a worker was preparing to paint a gate when it travelled too far and went beyond the guides and fell on him. There were two similar incidents in Western Australia in 2017. The first one caused ankle and facial fractures, the second incident resulted in fractured vertebrae.
In NSW in 2015, a worker suffered spinal injuries when a heavy gate fell on her. The employer involved was recently fined $300,000.
The safety alert said there were a number of possible contributing factors in incidents of this type:
The safety alert suggested a number of steps for managing hazards and risks: