Incident Information Release issued after three crush injuries - 5.10.21

NT WorkSafe has issued its first Incident Information Release (IIR), after three serious crush incident injuries involving machinery occurred over the last month. IIRs are designed to underscore that a serious incident has occurred; workplaces undertaking similar activities are reminded to stop and review their procedures. Bruce McKinley, Acting Manager for Work Health and Safety Assurance, said IIRs are about getting information quickly to industry about an incident, designed to complement the most detailed Safety Alerts produced by NT WorkSafe. McKinley noted that Safety Alerts take more time to produce, as inspectors determine and address the contributing factors to an incident. This could take time if the incident is complex, or if the Inspectors do not receive full cooperation from workers and/or businesses.

“IIRs 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. 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. 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,” McKinley said.

In the first incident, a worker at a remote community worksite was injured while operating a skid-steer loader. A portion of the worker’s foot was outside of the cabin and resting on a crush point area, when the worker lowered a bucket attachment onto their foot, crushing and fracturing it. A second incident occurred in the greater Darwin area, when a worker received a serious crush injury, after 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. The worker suffered fractures to their wrist and forearm.

In a separate incident, a worker was seriously injured after they were knocked over by a forklift. The worker, who was the forklift operator, had just exited the forklift when it moved forward, knocking the worker to the ground. The worker’s leg became untangled in the forklift’s wheel well and they suffered multiple fractures to their foot.

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