Engineer crushed by reversing excavator – 19 August 2019

This incident information release explains how to stay safe when working with plant and vehicles on site.

Incident overview

A 32 year old engineer suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries on a road works construction site, when he was crushed between a reversing excavator and a stationary light vehicle. He was transported by ambulance from the Bringelly site to Westmead Hospital where he underwent surgery.

Image of reversing excavator
Image of reversing excavator

The investigation

  • SafeWork NSW inspectors responded to the incident.
  • SafeWork NSW commenced an investigation to determine the cause and circumstances of the incident.

Safety information

Consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risk of mobile plant. Use the following risk management process:

  • Identify traffic hazards
    • consult with workers and mobile plant operators
    • determine where mobile plant and vehicles are in use
    • determine potential locations and circumstances where people, plant and vehicles could collide – eg. when getting off plant
  • Eliminate the risk, if possible
  • If elimination isn’t possible, minimise it:
    • use bollards, barriers, safety rails or exclusion zones to separate people from moving plant and vehicles
    • use alarms to warn people of moving plant – eg. reversing alarm, flashing lights
    • plan the site’s layout to minimise plant and vehicle hazards – eg. have drive-through access to minimise reversing, locate loading areas close to storage areas
    • establish traffic flow patterns, develop right of way procedures, use signs and speed limits
    • have dedicated traffic controllers
    • restrict access
    • have mobile phone procedures
    • wear high-visibility garments.
  • Document procedures in a traffic management plan
  • Train, instruct and supervise your workers on the control measures.

Further information

Refer to the following guidance materials for further information:

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