Driver killed after being hit by stabilising arm on container truck

WorkSafe wants to highlight the importance of ensuring stabilising arms and outriggers are stowed and secured when in transit.
Safety alert published

Tuesday 14 Jan 2020

Industries and topics
  • Transport, logistics and warehousing
  • Plant hazards

Background

In December 2019 a garbage truck driver was killed after a rear crane stabilising arm on another vehicle hit his truck while he was driving. The arm was protruding from a container truck approaching from the opposite direction.

Safety issues

Plant fitted with stabilising arms or outriggers (such as mobile, vehicle loading and side loading cranes) can cause serious injuries or death to operators or other road users (such as drivers of other vehicles and pedestrians) if the arms or outriggers aren't stowed or secured correctly.

Recommended ways to control risks

Employers and self-employed persons are required to control the risk associated with vehicles, including securing plant and loads.

Employers and self-employed persons should ensure:

  • warning and indicating systems are fitted to alert or remind the driver that the outriggers or stabilising arms are deployed
  • mechanical or hydraulic locks are fitted to prevent extension of the outriggers or stabilisers during transit
  • manual (non-powered) stabilisers or outriggers incorporate a secondary latching or locking mechanism to reduce the likelihood of the outrigger or stabilising arm extending during transit
  • drivers are trained in the use of plant including how to secure / stow the plant for transport
  • plant is used in line with the manufacturer's instructions
  • plant, including warning and indicating systems, is regularly inspected and maintained to ensure it is operating as intended
  • fatigue risks are controlled and drivers are fit for work

Legal duties

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, employers must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health of employees. This includes identifying risks to health or safety in relation to the use of vehicles and eliminating or reducing those risks, so far as is reasonably practicable. Employees include independent contractors.

Employers must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide or maintain plant or systems of work that are safe and without risks to health.

Employers must provide employees with the necessary information, instruction, training or supervision to enable them to do their work in a way that is safe and without risks to health.

Employers must also ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that people other than employees are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the employer's conduct.

Self-employed persons must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons are not exposed to risks to their health and safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the self-employed persons.

Further information

Australian standards

AS1418 – Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe design series