NT urges safety reviews following serious crush injuries

Northern Territory WorkSafe has issued its first Incident Information Release (IIR) after three crush injuries involving machinery occurred in the territory over the past month.

In the first incident, a worker at a remote community worksite was injured operating a skid-steer loader.

A worker in the greater Darwin area received a serious crush injury, when their arm was drawn into a conveyor belt.

The worker was operating machinery when material became wedged under a conveyor belt roller. The incident occurred as the worker attempted to remove the material from the roller which resulted in fractures to their wrist and forearm.

A third worker was seriously injured after they were knocked over by a forklift and their leg became entangled in the forklift’s wheel well which resulted in multiple fractures to their foot.

NT WorkSafe strongly urges workplaces to undertake Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC) beginning by identifying hazards related to the use of machinery in the workplace.

It also recommends companies consider available control measures and implement those that most effectively eliminate or minimise the risks, as well as discuss the hazards identified and the control measures implemented at the next team meeting.

Incident Information Releases are designed to highlight to industry that a serious incident has occurred and for workplaces undertaking similar activities to stop and review their procedures.

Northern Territory WorkSafe Work Health and Safety Assurance acting manager Bruce McKinley said IIRs are about getting information quickly to industry about an incident and designed to complement the more detailed safety alerts produced by NT WorkSafe.

“IIR’s will only contain a brief summary of the incident and provide general safety information for the work activity being undertaken at the time the incident occurred,” McKinley said.

“This allows us to get information out to industry in a timelier manner for them to review their procedures to prevent a similar incident occurring at their workplace.

“Our safety alerts take more time to produce as inspectors are trying to determine and address the contributing factors to an incident.”

“This may take time if the incident is complex, or if our inspectors are not receiving full cooperation from the workers and/or the business.

“A safety alert will be issued if the safety information in an IIR does not address the contributing factors of an incident once they are known.”

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