Young worker injured by lifting hook

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of members. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Wednesday, 8 July, 2020 - 15:00
Incidents & prosecutions

A young worker in Queensland was recently injured after being struck by a lifting chain hook while helping a colleague move equipment.

They were using a crane in a storage yard, and it appears one of the hooks on the lifting chain was not correctly positioned on the load.

With tension on the chain, the worker apparently attempted to knock the sling hook so that it would move into the correct position.

However, the sling hook detached from the load and struck the young worker.

WHSQ noted that the risk of serious injury is increased when mobile plant, such as cranes, operate close to workers.

All persons involved in mobile crane operations must clearly understand their responsibilities for the safety of each lift.

Extreme care is needed when lifting loads close to others, including fellow workers and members of the public.

From 2015 to 2019, there have been on average 102 workers’ compensation claims accepted each year involving a crane.

In March 2018, a business was fined $104,000 after a farm owner was severely injured. He had been assisting a contractor recover a bogged piece of machinery on his property.

After an unsuccessful attempt with a chain, a snatch strap was used. The contractor attached one end of the snatch strap to the tractor and the other to the tow hitch on the machinery. Sadly, the tow hitch connection failed, causing the snatch strap to recoil.

The tow hitch was catapulted approximately 15m into the tractor cabin, striking the farm owner through the back of his seat.