Worksafe Victoria have stressed the importance of safety systems at workplace by narrating the dangers of crushing injuries after two deaths and a serious injury in less than a week.
- A man died at a Powelltown sawmill on 2 October when a 4 metre high stack of timber fell as the man prepared to position another stack with a forklift.
- On 8 October a man died at Northcote when a truck tipped sideways trapping him as he used a truck-mounted crane to move a 4.3 tonne load from another truck. He was standing between the two vehicles which were parked side by side.
- A man suffered serious internal injuries when slabs of stone being unloaded from a shipping container fell at Epping also on 8 October.
John Merritt, Executive Director at Worksafe Victoria said that while the three incidents were in different circumstances, the warning to all workplaces and workers was that safe systems of work must be in place at all times.
Six people have died at work as a result of crushing injuries this year. The potential for racking, vehicles or stacked goods to move must be considered in any workplace and steps should be taken to ensure the risk is minimised.
He also added that loads that have shifted in transit, storage racks not suited to the materials they are holding or not attached to the walls, vehicles not properly supported or chocked and poor stacking practices can produce consequences that can be instant and permanent. It may be a fatality or lead to someone being crippled, losing an arm or leg or with a permanent head injury.
In the cases of so-called ‘near misses’ people should use it as a serious warning. It is not good enough to say ‘we’ have always done it this way and never had any problems.