Manufacturing News

WorkCover issues safety alert after worker crushed to death

WorkCover NSW has issued a reminder to all businesses using mobile plant and equipment following the death of a 75 year-old Cessnock man at a work site at Beresfield near Newcastle.

Preliminary enquiries suggest the man suffered fatal crush injuries after he was hit by a skid-steer loader at a worksite, WorkCover NSW said.

The organisation has reportedly commenced a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the incident and issued a number of notices to the company.

A prohibition notice has been issued to cease operation of the skid-steer loader until a full mechanical inspection has been completed.

WorkCover NSW also says improvement notices have been issued to conduct a risk assessment for working in and around a construction environment, and develop a Safe Work Method Statement for construction work.

General manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson, said the incident was a tragic reminder of the inherent risks of working with or near mobile plant.

“Work involving mobile plant and equipment is high risk and can be catastrophic if systems are not in place to ensure the safety of any persons in close proximity,” Watson said.

“Every fatality affects a family, friends and work colleagues.

“That’s why we’re urging all workers and employers using mobile plant and equipment to make safety a priority in the weeks leading up to Christmas so it is a safe and happy time for everyone.”

WorkCover NSW recommends employers take the following steps to minimise the risks associated with working with mobile plant and equipment:

• develop traffic control procedures which separate pedestrians from plant and equipment
• develop Safe Work Method Statements which describe how various tasks should be undertaken
• provide appropriate training and supervision to operators of plant and equipment
• ensure plant and equipment is suitable for the tasks to be performed and maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions.

“When implemented effectively, these systems assist in ensuring the safety of workers and others around mobile plant and equipment,” Watson said.

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