Dozens of crush injuries prompts call for vigilance - 16.1.14

Almost four dozen people have suffered crush injuries at work, WorkCover NSW research has revealed.

The study shows in the 12 months from August 2012, 46 incidents occurred whilst people were working around large machinery or heavy vehicles.

In light of the increasing prevalence of crush injuries WorkCover NSW is calling for businesses and workers to remain vigilant.

WorkCover NSW General Manager of Work Health and Safety Division John Watson said these figures show moving heavy machinery or heavy vehicles can be dangerous and can result in serious injury and even death.

While not all the accidents occurred on mines, the risk profile of the sector is high.

“Almost every workplace has some form of plant or equipment and there are many associated hazards, including entanglement or crushing, cuts or punctures, being struck by moving objects, electrical or explosive hazards, slips, trips and falls, and manual handling,” Watson said.

He explained training and appropriate supervision is required to ensure the health and safety of workers.

“We believe crush injuries and fatalities involving moving large machinery and heavy vehicles can be reduced if attention is paid to the control of the risks associated with working with and on such equipment,” he said.

Since August there has been a spate of serious crush injuries across the mining sector.

Late last year one worker was killed and another seriously injured at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek mine.

Both were injured in a crush incident at the site’s surface mining workshop on December 30.

Also in December a female contractor was killed in an accident on GlencoreXstrata’s Ravensworth open cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley.

The 38-year-old operator was crushed to death on site when the light vehicle she was driving collided with a dump truck.

In October a worker at BHP Billiton’s Mount Arthur coal mine was lucky to escape serious injury when his light vehicle collided with a dozer at the Hunter Valley site.

A Macmahon Holdings contractor lost his leg when his vehicle was involved in a collision at FMG’s Christmas Creek site in October.

Another FMG contractor, Kurt Williams, was killed in August when he was carrying out maintenance work at the Christmas Creek crushing plant.

Source: Safe To Work