Safety alert highlights risk of crush injuries
NT WorkSafe recently issued a safety alert about the risk of serious crush injuries when unloading heavy machinery from tilt tray trucks without the use of safety equipment.
The safety alert is in response to an incident in which a worker was seriously injured while attempting to reverse a 2.7-tonne utility compactor off a tilt tray truck.
According to NT WorkSafe, “the compactor, which operates on two metal drums, was being unloaded when it lost traction and toppled onto its side. The worker was pinned under the roll-over protection frame, causing multiple injuries to their lower body.”
NT WorkSafe noted several possible contributing factors to the incident:
- a risk assessment was not conducted before unloading;
- a safe work procedure was not in place;
- the winch fitted to the tilt tray truck was not used;
- the compactor’s metal drums may not have had enough traction on the tilted metal tray to prevent it from sliding; and
- the tilt tray was wet due to rain, which reduced the friction that the compactor’s metal drums had on the tilt tray.
The safety alert makes the following recommendations to prevent a similar incident from occurring:
- carry out a risk assessment before commencing any work, especially if conditions (including environmental conditions) in the workplace have changed;
- develop safe work procedures in consultation with workers;
- provide workers with appropriate training, instruction, information and supervision to understand and use the safe work procedures;
- ensure the provided equipment and mechanical systems to load and unload unmanned machinery are always used; and
- if the manufacturer's instructions allow the machinery to be operated during loading and unloading, have another person operate the winch while the machinery is driven on or off the tray.
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