A 40-year-old male employee's right foot has been amputated while he was conducting mechanical works on a dual car, single mast personnel and materials hoist. Two hoists run up and down the single mast, which is attached to the outside of a high-rise building under construction.
The incident occurred while the employee was conducting works associated with a 'jump' of the hoist, while on the structure of the mast. Jumping is the process undertaken to extend the mast and install the associated hoist systems and componentry. This enables the hoists to access newly built higher floors as construction progresses.
The second hoist car (which remained in operational use) travelled into the employee's work zone and his foot became trapped, resulting in the amputation.
WorkSafe is currently investigating this incident.
Dual car, single mast personnel and materials hoists present serious hazards when maintenance or jumping works are being performed, as a result of the dual car, single mast configuration. Work may be performed in proximity to moving parts, presenting risks such as entrapment and crushing.
Additional safety measures are required until such works on either or both hoist cars have been completed.
Recommended ways to control risks
WorkSafe recommends that both hoists of a dual car personnel and material hoist should be removed from service during the activities of servicing, maintenance or jumping. The maintenance crew should be in control of the operation of both cars until works are complete.
WorkSafe is developing further guidance on appropriate risk control measures that should be implemented when these activities are performed.
Employers must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain for their employees a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.
They must also provide or maintain plant or systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.