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Inspectors investigate workplace fatality

27-07-2010
by 
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WorkSafe inspectors are investigating the 14th workplace fatality in Victoria this year after a 51 year-old man was crushed while carrying out repairs on a 4WD at Dandenong.

The incident occurred when the front of the vehicle was on a ramp and the rear jacked up with a hydraulic trolley jack. WorkSafe understands the vehicle dropped and rolled back, crushing the man.

This is the second workplace fatality involving a hydraulic jack to occur in Victoria in eight days.

On July 14, a 41-year-old worker was struck by a steel beam at Appleton Dock, VIC, after hydraulic jacks controlling a lifting device failed to operate in unison.

“Given the nature of this kind of repair work, there’s always a risk of severe injury or fatality,” said Manufacturing and Logistics Director Ross Pilkington.

“However, there’s a number of ways to stay safe while working under a suspended vehicle.

“If you’re using a lifting device, make sure it’s suited to the work you’re trying to perform.

“Always put backup measures in place so that if something goes wrong, you’ll be safe.

“For example, if you’re using a jack to raise a vehicle, put a vehicle stand in place as a backup. Where possible, always use chocks to prevent wheels rolling or moving.

“Finally, remember to regularly inspect equipment and make sure the safe working load is clearly displayed,” he said.

In December 2008, WorkSafe Victoria prosecuted We fix M Pty Ltd (trading as Inverloch Motor Body Works) after a customer died when a tandem trailer fell from a vehicle hoist. The company was convicted and fined $125,000.

WorkSafe VIC
Ph: 1800 136 089
www.worksafe.vic.gov.au

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