In November 2020, a worker was seriously injured when he was run over by a truck while clearing debris caught underneath it.

Investigations are continuing.

Preventing a similar incident

Poor traffic management continues to pose a significant safety risk at all types of workplaces as people hit by trucks, mobile plant, cars, utes and forklifts often suffer serious, or even fatal, injury.

The person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) must manage risks associated with immobilising vehicles. Effective risk management starts with a commitment to health and safety from those who manage the business. Managing work health and safety risks is an ongoing process and involves four steps, including: identifying hazards, assessing risks, controlling risks, and reviewing control measures to ensure they are effective.

Once the risks have been assessed, the next step is to control risks associated with immobilising vehicles. These control measures are ranked from the highest level of protection and reliability to the lowest and are known as the hierarchy of control. PCBUs must work through this hierarchy to choose the controls that most effectively eliminate or, where that is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risks. PCBUs must first consider controls that most effectively eliminate the risk. If that’s not reasonably practicable, then the risks must be minimised.

Risk control measures include:

Elimination

Removing the hazard or hazardous work practices is the most effective way to control risks. For example, removing vehicles and people from the same work area by changing work processes. If this control measure is not reasonably practicable, the next steps can be considered.

Isolation

Isolate workers from heavy vehicles. Examples include:

  • organising the layout of the workplace to isolate workers and pedestrians from heavy vehicles
  • barriers, fences or exclusion zones, isolating workers or pedestrians from vehicles and mobile plant
Engineering

For example:

  • installing a handbrake warning system to alert drivers when the handbrake has not been applied
Administrative

Examples include:

  • developing a safe system of work that considers:
    • implementing a traffic management plan that may include details of the desired flow of pedestrian and vehicle movements; the expected frequency of interaction of vehicles and pedestrians; illustrations of the layout of barriers, walkways, signs and general arrangements to warn and guide traffic around, past, or through a work site or temporary hazard
      (source: Safe Work Australia – Traffic management – general guide)
    • providing workers with instruction, training and supervision on safe work procedures ensuing worker training, experience and competency aligns with the requirements and complexity of the task
    • procedures to effectively immobilise vehicles before maintenance or cleaning commences.
  • a process should be put in place to enable effective communication between workers.
  • exclusion zones around vehicles, (ensuring they are clearly marked and enforced).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Any remaining risk must be minimised with suitable PPE. For example:

  • the use of, steel cap boots and high visibility vest

The control measures that you put in place should be reviewed regularly to make sure they work as planned.

SOURCE:

Work Safe Queensland

December 21, 2020

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/news-and-events/alerts/incident-alerts/2020/worker-struck-by-moving-truck?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Incident+alert+-+Worker+struck+by+moving+truck&utm_content=Worker+struck+by+moving+truck&utm_source=www.vision6.com.au