WorkSafe VIC: Company fined $42,000 for safety failings

Thursday, 23 August, 2012 - 10:00
Incidents & prosecutions

WorkSafe VIC advises that a garbage collection company was fined $42,000 over an incident where a 92kg bin lifting arm, fitted to a garbage truck, fell suddenly and struck a worker on the head. The worker suffered serious injuries to his scalp, requiring about 40 stitches, and he was unable to work for six weeks after the incident.

WorkSafe VIC report that the incident happened when a truck driver had noticed an oil leak near the garbage truck’s bin lifting arm, and called a company mechanic to come and repair it at the roadside. During the course of those repairs, the hydraulic pressure holding up the bin lifting arm was released, causing the 92kg arm to drop rapidly, striking the truck driver on the head.

Citywide Service Solutions, which provides waste management services to councils, mistakenly believed that because the worker was discharged from hospital on the same day as the incident, there was no need to notify WorkSafe VIC.

WorkSafe VIC noted that the company should have fitted a safety strap when conducting repairs to the bin lifter arm, as recommended in a safety bulletin released by the supplier. This would have kept the bin lifting arm raised, even if the hydraulics failed. The cost of this safety strap was less than $160. WorkSafe VIC report that their investigation also found the worker had not been instructed or trained not to stand underneath the bin lifting arm when it was being serviced.

For more information on this incident, head to the WorkSafe VIC website.