Truck drivers fatally hit by own vehicles

An alert about hazards and risk controls associated with trucks following a number of incidents.



WorkSafe has seen an increase in workplace incidents involving vehicles in recent months. Two of these have involved truck driver fatalities.

In January a truck driver died after being run over by the truck he was operating. The incident occurred while he was collecting a full 10-tonne rubbish skip bin off the road at a workplace.

In April, a 56-year-old driver died after he was crushed between a fence and a garbage truck. Working alone at the time, he had stepped out of the truck to open a gate when it rolled forward and pinned him against the fence. WorkSafe is investigating this incident.

Recommended ways to control risks

WorkSafe reminds duty holders of the risk control requirements that apply while operating vehicles. Duty holders include employers, contractors, self-employed persons and other persons who have management or control of a workplace.

WorkSafe urges everyone to:

  • conduct pre-operation inspections and tests (incorporating a written checklist and fault report)
  • carry out any necessary repairs in a timely manner in accordance with risk
  • ensure vehicles are regularly serviced, well maintained and comply with manufacturer’s specifications, including any accessories such as tailgates, attachments and mobile trolleys
  • reduce the risk of drivers exiting vehicles without having first applied the parking brake by installing a parking brake alarm system – these systems are readily available and can be retrofitted to most trucks

To reduce the risks associated with operating vehicles in the workplace, WorkSafe reminds everyone to:

  • minimise in-cabin distractions (eg loud music, mobile phones) and vibration (eg uncomfortable seating)
  • ensure drivers are not impaired by drugs, alcohol or fatigue
  • discourage bad driving behaviors such as speeding and tailgating

This safety alert was first published in January 2019