Mobile Plant fatalities
Worksafe Queensland has reported 3 tragic fatalities involving mobile plant.
During December, a worker was tragically killed when a ride-on mower rolled over on a steep slope. A few weeks earlier, a worker was killed when the tractor he was driving went over the edge of a steep embankment on a farm and rolled over. A third worker was killed when a forklift fell from the loading ramps of a flatbed trailer.
In both cases with the tractor and forklift, they were fitted with a roll over protective system, but had no seatbelt.
Mobile plant is generally safe when operated properly, but like any equipment, they become dangerous if not used correctly, not maintained or ill-suited to the task at hand.
Top Tips to prevent injuries and deaths associated with Mobile plant
- Never use mobile plant unless you have received appropriate training
- Do not remove Roll Over Protection or Falling Object Protection where fitted
- Wear a seatbelt when fitted
- Assess weather and ground conditions before using plant
- Do not carry passengers unless specifically design to do so
- Avoid operation near ditches, holes and embankments (which may collapse)
- Always wear appropriate and highly visible clothing and other prescribed PPE
- If ramps are used, always ensure:
- Ramps are firmly secured to the trailer / truck etc by locking mechanism
- Ramps are in good condition before use
- The ramps are suitable and load rated for the plant being loaded/unloaded
- exclusion zones are in place to prevent people being hit by the plant if it falls off the ramps
While it is difficult to completely eliminate the risks in a workplace, strong systems and processes, including a solid induction training program will have a large effect on the probability of an accident or incident happening.
A well-structured induction program is one of the most effective and efficient ways to bring new recruits up to speed on safe work methods. Employees learn the right way of doing things from the beginning, minimising the risk of costly mistakes, while increasing productivity.