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WorkSafe Victoria warns against working in close proximity to mobile plants

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WorkSafe Victoria  has warned against working in close proximity to mobile plant after a worker’s leg was broken at Narre Warren.

WorkSafe Victoria’s investigation is at an early stage, but it is understood the Mulgrave man was carrying out maintenance work at the bottom of a three-metre deep pit when he was struck by the bucket of an excavator. The pit was part of stormwater management infrastructure.

WorkSafe Victoria’s Construction and Utilities Director, Chris Webb said working near mobile plant was a high risk activity, particularly when in confined spaces.

“If something goes wrong there is little margin for error and the consequences, as in this case, can be serious.”

It took several hours to rescue the injured man because of safety concerns. The CFA set up a tripod and winched rescuers down to help him out.

Chris Webb said that this incident should prompt a review of safety measures in all workplaces.

“Most deaths and injuries occur where people are doing what are, for them, routine tasks.”

WorkSafe Victoria’s experience is that the incident that kills or leaves a permanent injury is not much different from one you can walk away from.

Surviving a day at work should not be a matter of luck, but the result of consistent good practice and job-planning.

“Safe workplaces are created and maintained as a result of regular safety reviews, discussion about known and potential hazards and the implementation of safety management plans,” Chris Webb said.

“Employers, including labour hire firms, sub-contractors and primary contractors have obligations, as do individuals and those who commission work.”

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