1 min read

Stone slab crushing incident sparks alert

WorkSafe Victoria has issued a safety alert following the recent death of a worker who was crushed by stone slabs she was unloading in a shipping container.

There have been a number of similar crushing incidents in Victoria this year.

WorkSafe Victoria says the risk of crushing or entrapment while unpacking shipping containers is increased when the following occurs:

  • activities are carried out within the ‘fall shadow’ of an unrestrained object or where there is potential for restraints to fail (the ‘fall shadow’ of a slab is the region swept by a slab during its toppling movement from vertical to when it stops falling);
  • people attempt to physically restrain or stop an object while it is falling;
  • objects moving more than expected or in an unintended way during handling, which often causes the object to fall;
  • inappropriate packing of shipping containers;
  • damage or loads shifting in transport;
  • incorrect use of plant, such as overloading forklifts and using lifting attachments not specifically designed for the task; and
  • mass, speed and force applied is underestimated when an object is moved by a crane or forklift.
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