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Machinery topples, pins and kills employee

Lorry loader
Lorry loader

Colleagues and loved ones are grieving the loss of a worker who was fatally pinned by overbalanced equipment.

The unidentified employee was standing between a trailer and lorry loader. While unloading a metal shaft from the trailer the crane suddenly toppled to its side, causing a different metal shaft to roll off the loader bed and land on the victim.

“[The object] rolled off the side of the lorry crane and struck a worker standing between the lorry crane and trailer. The worker was rescued and sent to the hospital where he passed away,” the Workplace Safety and Health Council said in a safety bulletin.

A photo of the accident location is circled to show the metal shaft’s initial position on the loader bed. An arrow indicates the direction in which the heavy object rolled off and landed on the worker’s leg on 27 May 2022.

The statutory body urged employers to take the following safety precautions to minimise the risk of injury and death during lifting operations in future:

  • secure all loads to prevent them from rolling or falling off the vehicle
  • select a trained and competent lifting team to carry out the lifting operation
  • ensure lorry crane operators read and understand the load capacity chart and the weight of the load to be lifted
  • always identify hazards and risks associated with lifting operations and implement controls to eliminate or reduce risks
  • proceed with the lift only if the weight of the load is less than the SWL. Fully extend and properly secure all lorry crane outriggers before starting the lift
  • establish and implement a lifting plan before starting lifting operations. Include lifting equipment parameters like the safe working load (SWL), load details, rigging method, position of lifting equipment, and loading or unloading position
  • consider equipping the lorry crane with a stability control system (SCS) to ensure stability during lifting operations. An SCS will compute the allowable lifting capacity and safe working range for different outrigger extensions, and automatically stop the lorry crane once safety limits are exceeded.

Click here to download the full safety bulletin.

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AMSJ April 2022