What happened?

A truck driver was working in a remote area, getting ready to load an excavator onto his truck’s trailer. As he walked under the raised steel ramp; it fell and pinned him beneath. He was knocked unconscious.

The excavator operator found the driver and saw he was turning blue in the face. The operator raised the fallen ramp and tried to call emergency services. The driver began breathing again and regained consciousness.

Ambulance Tasmania, the State Emergency Service, Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Police attended the scene.

What injuries occurred?

The truck driver was taken to hospital, and found to be suffering multiple injuries, requiring a lengthy recovery period.

Any contributing factors?

It was found that the power take off drive from the truck and the power source that drives the hydraulic pump was not engaged, and therefore the hydraulic system was not pressurised. This would explain why the ramp fell while the truck driver was making his preparations.

How was this problem fixed?

The workplace:

  • had the truck’s hydraulics fixed to include safety devices to prevent this happening again
  • developed a safe operating procedure that includes having a ‘no go zone’ around the area the ramps lower to
  • ensured no workers would be alone in remote areas without phone contact or access to emergency assistance. It has bought satellite phones and personal satellite GPS messengers.

What can you do?

Here are some relevant codes of practice that have practical guidance to help you prevent this happening in your workplace.

  • Managing the Risks of Plant in the Workplace: details specific control measures required under the regulations for plant. Includes an extensive hazard checklist and a summary of relevant Australian Standards for further reference (organised by plant type)
  • How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks: practical advice for identifying hazards in your workplace, doing risk assessments, and developing control measures. Includes a risk register template and case studies
  • Managing the Work Environment and Facilities: explains how to provide and maintain a physical work environment that is without risks to health and safety. Includes an extensive checklist for auditing your workplace.

If you need further help understanding plant safety or managing safety in your workplace, talk to our Helpline or request a free visit from one of our Safety Advisors.