Worker crushed by lengths of pipe - 16 September

This incident information release outlines how to do heavy unloading safely.

A 65-year-old driver suffered fatal injuries when struck by two steel pipes as they were being unloaded from a heavy-vehicle trailer in Moorebank. A telehandler, operating from the opposite side of the truck, was used to unload the pipes.

Telehandler used in incident
Telehandler used in incident

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 risks associated with unloading heavy loads.

Before entering any work area, delivery drivers should be inducted into the site-specific rules and procedures, then directed to an exclusion zone that allows mobile plant to be used safely.

Before unloading, make sure:

  • fasteners and load restraint systems are working as intended, and are in good condition – restraint systems should prevent loads from moving and control pipes from rolling off the truck bed or against a truck-mounted post, barrier or frame
  • workers are competent, have received training and instructions on loading and unloading stock safely, and have appropriate high-risk work licences if necessary
  • the appropriate plant is used to lift and transport the stock, and attachments are compatible and properly fitted.

When loading or unloading, make sure:

  • workers don’t place themselves between the load and the truck, trailer, lifting equipment or any other pinch point
  • workers don’t work on the opposite side of the trailer (other than when seated in the cab of a backstop forklift).

Further information

Download a PDF of this release

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