Timber pack falls off truck - 22 July 2019

Incident overview

A truck driver was standing next to his truck as a forklift was used to load it with pine timber packs at a workplace in Bathurst. One of the timber packs fell off the tray, striking the truck driver. The driver sustained a serious head injury and later died as a result of his injuries.

Image of pine timber packs on truck.
Pine timber packs on the truck that was involved in the incident.

Figure 1.

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

You must consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risk when moving heavy loads:

  • Train all lifting equipment operators and certify each worker holds the appropriate high-risk work licence for the task.
  • Establish a no-go zone where there is a risk of the load falling.
  • Separate plant from people in loading and unloading zones.
  • Ensure mobile plant attachments are fit for purpose, compatible with the host plant and fitted and secured properly before use.
  • Always consider the weight, size, shape and composition of the load when selecting equipment and preparing the transport method.
  • Never exceed the rated capacity of the lifting equipment (check how lifting equipment can cope when combined with attachments).
  • Check the destination location is suitable for the load in terms of weight, size and stability (eg when stacking on top of other materials, ensure the materials can receive the load).
  • Lift and carry loads in a way that ensures mobile plant remains stable.
  • Avoid lifting loads of more than one item which might not remain steady on the attachment when travelling or unloading.
  • Travel with the load lowered to allow the operator to see and maintain stability of the load (if not practicable, reverse or engage a spotter).
  • Never sling a load from the tines.

Further information

You can also refer to the following guidance materials:

Download a pdf of this release.

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