Crush injuries working on tipper truck 23 May 2019

Incident date

23 May 2019


Crush injuries while working on tipper truck



Incident overview

A worker was greasing a tipper truck after undertaking deliveries. The worker had raised the tipper body on the truck and was leaning over the passenger-side between the chassis rail and the tipper body. The tray descended and the worker sustained fatal crush injuries.

Image: The heavy vehicle the worker was working on.
The worker was working on the heavy vehicle on the left.

The investigation

SafeWork NSW Inspectors responded to the incident.

SafeWork NSW has commenced an investigation to determine the cause and circumstances of the incident.

Our Prosecution Guidelines (January 2018) outline our approach to prosecutions and Safe Work Australia’s National Compliance and Enforcement Policy provides guidance on their approach to compliance. These documents set out factors that will be considered in determining the investigative approach and appropriate outcome.

Safety Information

Businesses are reminded of their duty to identify hazards and manage risks to health and safety in accordance with the provisions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.

Businesses must consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risks when carrying out inspections or doing maintenance/repair work underneath raised tipping or tilting trays on trucks or trailers.

These include ensuring:

  • safe systems of work are developed and implemented before starting work to minimise the risk of working under a tipper tray
  • maintenance activities are carried out by a competent person in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • work or inspections are not undertaken between a raised tipper tray and the vehicle chassis rails, unless the tray is supported by a mechanical stop, such as a safety bar correctly applied, or suitably designed props or stands
  • wood is never used to support an elevated tipper tray
  • limiter cables are protected from inadvertent activation by the use of shrouds or guarding
  • controls for raising and lowering the tipper tray are clearly marked and protected from inadvertent operation, and the system is isolated (eg truck is turned off and keys removed from ignition)
  • hydraulics and mechanical parts are regularly inspected and maintained by a competent person
  • worn or damaged parts are repaired or replaced
  • new vehicles have safeguards fitted to the tipper tray system, such as built-in props/stops to secure the tray when elevated.


Our Coordinator Family Liaison can provide information on counselling and other support to injured workers and to close family members when a relative has died or is seriously injured in the workplace.  Contact us on 13 10 50 or

Visit for information about the State Coroner.

Further information

You can also refer to the following guidance materials:

About this information release

We have issued this information to draw attention to a fatality in the transport and maintenance industry. Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information contained in this publication is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing. Users are reminded of the need to ensure any information upon which they rely is up to date and to check the currency of the information with the appropriate SafeWork NSW officer or the user’s independent adviser. No conclusions should be drawn from the information in this publication about the cause of the incident or the culpability of any party. All photographs were taken by SafeWork NSW.

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