Sydney earthmoving company fined after worker suffers serious crush injuries


Photo: Activedia, Pixabay

An earthmoving company has been fined $90,000 after a worker was crushed underneath the body of a dump truck in June 2016.

The 26-year-old man was working underneath the body of a dump truck when the incident happened.

The Sydney-based company, which supplies civil construction and plant hire services, was sentenced at the District Court of NSW for failing to maintain a safe working environment for its employees.

SafeWork Operations Executive Director, Tony Williams said the avoidable incident happened when a dump body carrying 30 tonnes of soil, lowered onto an experienced repairer.

“The worker was called to inspect and repair the malfunctioning truck, then began working underneath the raised dump body,” Mr Williams said.

“Unfortunately, the dump body was not locked properly, causing it to lower down and crush the victim.

“By the time the dump body was raised, severe damage had already been done to the worker’s lower back and hands.”

The court heard that no reference was given to the risk of a worker being crushed by lowering the dump body of a truck in the company’s risk assessment a year before the incident.

“If the worker had been provided with adequate safety training for repair and maintenance work, he may have been able to identify safety measures such as ensuring the dump body was secured in the maximum holding position by lever and dump body locks,” Mr Williams said.

“This is a serious reminder that companies need to ensure their workers are properly trained, and that they have documented Safe Operating Procedures in place to protect them.”

The company has the right to lodge an appeal.

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