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WA: Worker receives multiple foot fractures after exiting forklift

Date: 
Tuesday, 10 July, 2018 - 16:00
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions
Industry news
Location: 
National News
Western Australia

A West Australian worker sustained multiple fractures to one foot after the forklift he was operating ran over him.

The operator dismounted the reach truck forklift he was driving, while the plant was still moving.

He tripped forward towards the ground, breaking his fall by extending both hands out in front, and as the operator was on the ground, the reach truck forklift continued rolling forward onto his left foot, causing multiple fractures.

In a subsequent safety alert, WorkSafe WA said around a quarter of all forklift related injuries occur when an operator is getting on or off the forklift.

The alert observed there were a number of contributing factors to the incident:

  • Exiting mobile plant while it was still in motion and without waiting for the plant to completely stop
  • Exiting mobile plant in a forward motion, facing the direction of exit instead of exiting by stepping backward in accordance with available guidelines
  • Not maintaining three points of contact when exiting the mobile plant
  • Loose safety boots may have caused the operator to trip and fall forward

Furthermore, a number of steps were recommended to manage associated hazards and risks

  • Stop mobile plant fully before exiting
  • Maintain three points of contact when getting in or out of mobile plant
  • Ensure operators of mobile plant are trained in the correct method of getting in and out of mobile plant
  • Ensure safe operating procedures include the correct methods of getting in and out of mobile plant
  • Ensure work boots are firmly fitted and laced-up