Loadshifting crush injury 24 May 2019

Incident date

24 May 2019


Crush injury while moving concrete blocks


Lane Cove West

Incident overview

A worker was using an excavator fitted with forklift tines to load large concrete blocks from the ground onto a flatbed truck.

While lifting a concrete block, it moved, pinning another worker (who was helping with the lift) against the truck. The worker received a suspected fractured pelvis.

Photograph: The concrete block that was being moved at the time of the incident.
The concrete block that was being moved at the time of the incident.

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 must consider reasonably practicable control measures to manage the risks when moving heavy loads.  These include:

  • Ensure mobile plant attachments are fit for purpose, appropriate for the item of plant, and properly fitted and connected prior to use
  • Ensure all loads are lifted, carried and stored in a manner that ensures the stability of the mobile plant, the security of the load and any attachments
  • Always consider the weight, size and composition of the load when making decisions about what equipment and safe method to use before doing any lift
  • Travel with the load lowered to allow the operator to see and maintain stability of the load
  • Avoid lifting any unsecured loads
  • Never exceed the rated capacity of the lifting equipment
  • Never sling a load from the tines
  • Ensure all operators of any lifting equipment are appropriately trained and correctly licenced.

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.


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 contact@safework.nsw.gov.au

Visit www.coroners.justice.nsw.gov.au 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 the occurrence of a serious injury while lifting a heavy load. This type of injury occurs across multiple industries. 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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