Safety Alert 01/2015 – Vehicles and mobile plant causing deaths at workplaces

Information status

All documents issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Documents listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this document, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

A common element of many recent fatal and serious injuries has been people in close proximity to vehicles or mobile plant.

People who work with or near vehicles and mobile plant are most at risk.  Serious and fatal incidents can occur during pedestrian movement near vehicles or plant, reversing and manoeuvring, arrivals or departures, loading or unloading, hitching or unhitching trailers, lowering ramps, mounting or dismounting from vehicles, securing of loads, movement of materials and maintenance work.

The purpose of this Safety Alert is to raise awareness of the hazards associated with operating vehicles and mobile plant at workplaces and the means of reducing the risk.

Contributing factors

  • movement and speed of vehicles and plant at the workplace is not managed in a way to minimise the risk of injury to pedestrians and operators;
  • design of the workplace is inadequate for safe reversing and manoeuvring of vehicles or mobile plant;
  • vehicle size is inappropriate for the design of the workplace;
  • design of the workplace is such that arrivals and departures expose persons to the risk of collision;
  • inadequate systems of work for segregating pedestrians from vehicles and mobile plant;
  • inadequate communication systems between the operator and other persons i.e. the spotter or hitcher;
  • inadequate signage and road markings to instruct operators and pedestrians;
  • operators or other persons standing too close to mobile plant while loading, unloading or manoeuvring vehicles;
  • operators or other persons standing or moving through the fall zone of ramps of vehicles;
  • persons working underneath vehicles or mobile plant while the load is not adequately supported;
  • operators and other persons not provided with appropriate information, instruction and training.

Action required

  1. ensure the movement and speed of vehicles and plant is managed in such a way to minimise the risk of injury to pedestrians and vehicle operators;
  2. the workplace, including traffic routes and pedestrian walkways, is designed and maintained in such a way to ensure the safety of operators and other persons;
  3. safe systems of work, communication systems and signage are in place to ensure the safety of operators and other persons working in the vicinity of vehicles and mobile plant;
  4. operators and other persons are not working in the fall zone of ramps or underneath vehicles or mobile plant that is not adequately supported; and
  5. operators and other persons at the workplace have received adequate information, instruction and training.

Further information

Guidance note: Safe movement of vehicles at workplaces

WorkSafe
Alert
Last updated 22 Jul 2016

Share this page:

Last modified: