Excavator incident 12 February 2019

Bucket of excavator being loaded onto a truck hit worker

Incident date



Bucket of excavator being loaded onto a truck hit worker


Macquarie Fields

Incident Overview

While loading an excavator onto the back of a truck, a worker who was strapping down the excavator was struck by a falling object. As the operator of the excavator moved the bucket a smaller bucket inside it toppled out and struck the worker. The worker sustained injuries to his head, back and leg.

Image: The site where work was being done.

Image: The site where work was being done.

The site

The site is located at Macquarie Fields. Work being done at the site includes earth moving and construction work.

The investigation

SafeWork NSW Inspectors responded to 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 line with the provisions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017. Each year SafeWork NSW responds to incidents where workers have been injured while using earth moving equipment. Workers in the construction industry are commonly injured; however any worker using earth moving machinery is at risk. Businesses are reminded to consider reasonably practicable control measures to manage the risk of injury while operating, or working near, earth moving machinery. Clear, established lines of communication between the operators of plant and nearby workers is vital, and should be implemented with control measures such as barriers, exclusion zones and traffic management. Workers should be trained and supervised when working closely with plant, and all maintenance should be done by competent, accredited people.

Further information

Please refer to the following guidance materials:
Excavation work Code of Practice
Moving Plant on Construction Sites: Code of Practice
Safety Alert – Working with or around mobile plant

About this information release

We have issued this information to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious injury in the earth moving 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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