Man dies after steel sheet falls in shipping container

A man has died from crushing injuries while unloading a shipping container at a Kilsyth metal fabrication business today.
News article published

Thursday 03 Feb 2011

Industries and topics
  • Health and safety representatives

A team of WorkSafe Victoria inspectors and investigators are at the site.

The incident happened at Eliott Engineering in Colchester Road around 12.50pm. It is the first work-related death to be reported to WorkSafe Victoria this year.

The 53-year-old Healesville man was working alone when a sheet of steel, which was to be made in to the tipper mechanism of a tip track, fell on him.

WorkSafe believes the steel was to have been lifted by crane out of the container. A number of others had already been removed.

Workmates lifted the steel sheet from the injured man and attempted CPR until an ambulance arrived. He died later.

The director of WorkSafe’s Manufacturing and Logistics Division, Ross Pilkington, said while the investigation was at an early stage, the possibility that loads could shift in transit had to be anticipated and prepared for before unloading.

“If it can move, it can kill. The danger is magnified if the object and those working with it are in a confined space where there is less room to move.

“A safe system of work needs to be established even if a job has been done hundreds or even thousands of times before.”

WorkSafe released new guidance on unpacking shipping containers in July 2010 and guidance on the safe loading of trucks last month.

WorkSafe recently launched a statewide campaign urging employers and workers to consider the potential outcomes of workplace safety incidents following 23 deaths at work last year.

Two of those deaths were during loading or unloading operations.