Construction company fined $50,000 after worker crushed

A civil construction company has been fined $50,000 following the death of a worker who was crushed while guiding machinery onto a truck in Mildura.
News article published

Monday 04 Oct 2021

Industries and topics
  • Construction
  • Plant hazards

Multiworks Australia Pty Ltd was sentenced in the Mildura County Court on 23 September after pleading guilty to a charge of failing, as far as was reasonably practicable, to provide a safe workplace.

On 24 October 2017, a truck driver suffered fatal chest injuries as he stood on the upper deck of the truck.

The court heard that a drum roller was being reversed onto the truck's lower deck, when it suddenly sped up and jumped onto the upper deck, crushing the worker.

A WorkSafe investigation found that the company had failed to prepare and implement a Safe Work Method Statement for high risk construction work that specifically addressed the loading and unloading of machinery.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Andrew Keen said employers had a duty to prepare and use a SWMS for all high risk construction work.

"Employers must take the time to identify risks in the workplace and take all reasonable steps to remove or reduce these risks," Mr Keen said.

"This includes providing clear and written procedures for all aspects of high risk tasks and making sure that those procedures are followed."

To manage risks when loading or unloading powered mobile plant at site, employers should:

  • Prepare and implement a Safe Work Method Statement for high risk construction work, in consultation with employees and health and safety representatives
  • Ensure the SWMS considers:
    • The type of plant to be loaded
    • Exclusion of persons, including 'spotters', from the immediate vicinity and potential travel path of the plant
    • Suitability of the transport vehicle, including traction of the deck material, dimensions and load rating of the deck and ramps, tie down and lashing points, loading or unloading methods, and winching equipment on to and off tilt-trays (if relevant)
    • Competencies and experience required to operate the transport vehicle and any equipment used to load the plant, including powered plant if it needs to be driven on/off the transporter
    • Environmental conditions of the site
    • Fall protection for the delivery worker
  • Ensure powered mobile plant is regularly serviced and inspected to ensure the machinery will operate safely as designed