Mobile plant rollover – serious incident (27 April 2020)
A worker sustained serious injuries while operating a roller-compactor at a rural property in the Hunter Valley when the vehicle rolled over. The roller-compactor was fitted with a rollover protection system, however the worker was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the cabin through the front windscreen.
Vehicle rollovers are one of the highest causes of fatalities in the agricultural industry. Businesses must implement ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risks associated with the rollover of vehicles such as tractors and earthmoving machinery.
- Fit mobile plant with operator protective devices in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017. Operator protective devices include; a Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS), a Falling Object Protective Structure (FOPS), operator restraining devices and seatbelts
- Ensure mobile plant operators always wear a seatbelt while operating the machinery, to keep the operator within the protected ROPS/FOPS
- Consider the installation of warning devices and ignition interlocks for seatbelts in mobile plant
- Regularly inspect the ROPS/FOPS for rust, cracks, fatigue and deformation and replace any equipment showing any indication of reduced structural integrity
- Never modify the structure of the ROPS/FOPS (e.g. weld or drill) because it could undermine its structural integrity.