Safety Urged When Operating Vehicles

Monday, 13 December 2010

Employers have been urged to ensure safe work practices are in place for moving industrial plant and using vehicles following a spate of court cases highlighting dangerous incidents.

Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said recent prosecutions by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland highlighted the importance of appropriate training and risk management in preventing injuries and fatalities.

“The last few months have seen a spate of prosecutions resolved, with very heavy fines of up to $120,000 imposed,” Mr Dick said.

“One of these prosecutions resulted from a fatality at a Mackay scrap metal yard where a 56-year-old worker died from crush injuries.

“Another involved a grader running over a worker at an Atherton construction site and another five prosecutions, related to serious injuries, involved mobile scaffolding or trucks being loaded and unloaded.”

Mr Dick said the fatality and injuries were all the more tragic because they were preventable.

“Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has clear guidelines for preventing incidents of these types,” he said.

“Checklists are available for employees or contractors working with moving plant, scaffolding and vehicles. There are checklists for noise; driver fatigue; slips, trips and falls; falls from trucks; access to truck cabins; loading and unloading; lighting; and other risks.

“Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors are active throughout the industry, auditing workplaces across the state, often targeting these types of operations. But inspectors can’t be everywhere, and ultimately employers are responsible for ensuring workplaces are safe for employees.”

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