Industry Safety Bulletin, News, Safety events and incidents

How mobile plant modifications can lead to injury

dump truck, mobile plant

An incident that occurred on a Queensland resources operation this month highlights the importance of careful planning when repairing or modifying assets.

After climbing part way down a dump truck’s access ladder, an operator has fallen to the ground, resulting in a broken arm.

While the investigation is still ongoing, preliminary findings show that a fire extinguisher had been installed adjacent to the handrail of the ladder.

It is understood that the position of the fire extinguisher may have prevented the handrail from being held while ascending or descending the lower part of the ladder.

According to Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ), the operator was unable to maintain three-points of contact when descending the ladder and fell to the ground.

“Plant selection, design and installation practices and processes at the quarry did not ensure that the installation of the fire extinguisher did not affect safe access and egress,” RSHQ said.

“After the fire extinguisher was installed, risk management practices did not identify that three-points of contact was not always possible when ascending or descending the truck’s access ladder.”

In accordance with the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Regulation 2017, RSHQ recommended resources operations confirm that:

  • plant is fit for its intended use and use in its intended work environment
  • plant is ergonomically compatible with persons operating plant
  • plant has appropriate provision for safe access and egress.

The regulator also recommended that sites ensure pre-start checklists of equipment include checks to detect any deterioration of safety of access and egress to equipment.

View the safety alert for the full list of recommendations.

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