Dandy Premix Concrete Pty Ltd was sentenced in the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court last Monday after being found guilty on 15 April of failing to provide a safe workplace by failing to take reasonably practicable steps to eliminate the risk of powered mobile machines colliding with pedestrians.
The company was also ordered to pay costs of $13,850.
The court heard that on 20 July, 2018 workers were cleaning up spilled slurry as a truck was loading concrete. Once the truck was full, it pulled out, passing the two workers.
One of the workers tripped and fell under the truck’s rear wheels and his left arm was run over.
The worker suffered serious injuries, including amputation of his little finger and partial amputation of his ring and middle fingers. He has required multiple surgeries and ongoing rehabilitation.
The court heard the company did not have a traffic management plan that identified hazards, including collisions between trucks and pedestrians while spilled slurry was being cleaned up, and that there were no risk control measures in place, such as exclusion zones or physical barriers to separate pedestrians from vehicles.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said there was no excuse for failing to use appropriate safety measures to keep pedestrians and vehicles separated.
“This worker is still living with the consequences of an incident that could have been avoided,” she said.
“It is vital that employers have appropriate traffic management plans and risk control measures in place to keep vehicles and pedestrians at a safe distance.”
Employers using mobile plant should ensure:
- A traffic management plan is in place for pedestrians and powered mobile plant and that it is reviewed and updated as appropriate.
- Pedestrians are separated from moving machinery and that an effective communication system between operators, transport contractors and ground staff is in place.
- Signage is in place and barriers are erected where appropriate.
- Visibility issues are identified and controlled, particularly if lighting is poor.
- Workers operating equipment have the appropriate high risk work licences, as required.
- Machinery and vehicles are regularly inspected and maintained by a suitably qualified person.