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                        2 min read

                        Worker crushed unloading heavy machinery from truck

                        Worker crushed unloading heavy machinery from truck

                        A worker has been crushed while unloading heavy machinery from a truck.

                        The incident, which occurred at East Arm in the Northern Territory last month, involved a compactor being unloaded from a tilt tray truck. 

                        The compactor lost traction and fell onto its side, pinning the worker beneath the roll over protection frame. The worker suffered serious crush injuries to their lower body. It’s understood a winch was not used during unloading, a risk assessment was not carried out and a safe work procedure for unloading the compactor was not in place. Poor traction on the tilt tray and wet weather are also thought to be contributing factors.

                        This is not the first time we’ve seen incidents like this at Plant Assessor. We hear of incidents involving the unloading and loading of machinery time and time again, including this incident where a man was fatally crushed when a drum roller reversed onto the upper deck of a truck. 

                        The risks involved with tilt trays and rollers are very well known, so these catastrophic incidents are completely avoidable.


                        How can an incident like this be avoided?

                        There are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent a similar incident from occurring. 


                        • Ensuring a safe operating procedure (SOP) is in place relating to the loading and unloading of machinery.  In this case, that SOP should specifically identify the need to utilise the winch on the tilt tray as part of the loading and unloading process

                        • Conducting a take 5 assessment prior to loading or unloading machinery, specifically considering the reduced friction of steel on steel contact and the presence of environmental factors such as water.

                        • Following the manufacturer’s instructions on the loading and unloading process if available.

                        • Of course, you should have a risk assessment available for both the truck and the machine being transported, as well as completed a daily pre-start check on both items


                        Use Plant Assessor for your machinery risk assessment and SOP needs

                        You can ensure your machinery is safe for use by conducting daily inspections and periodic risk assessments using Plant Assessor. 

                        Our unique and unrivalled software allows you to easily inspect and assess your plant against Australian legislation and standards, before providing you with a corrective action report that can be used to help eliminate or reduce the risks. In addition, Plant Assessor can provide safe operating procedures on over 100,000 items of machinery.

                        If you’d like more information about how Plant Assessor can help you with your machinery risk assessment and SOP needs, contact our team of experts on 1300 728 852 or at


                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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