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The following article is a general news item provided for the benefit of members. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Date: 
Monday, 3 September, 2018 - 22:00
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions
Location: 
National News

A bulldozer operator from Julatten in Queensland was recently killed while clearing foliage, after the dozer drove onto a log, causing the tracks to lose friction, and it rolled onto a steep slope, throwing him from the cage.

Dozers and other types of mobile plant are safe when operated correctly and with consideration for the environmental and ground conditions where they are being operated.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said that before operating powered mobile plant, the person with management or control of it must ensure:

·         The vehicle selected is the right vehicle for the task

·         Weather, ground conditions and the intended travel pathway have been inspected and assessed to identify any problem areas e.g. Wet ground, sloping ground

·         A seat belt, where fitted, is worn

·         A suitable combination of operator protective devices for the plant is provided

·         The manufacturer’s operating instructions have been read and are followed. For older items of mobile plant where operating instructions are not available, operational procedures and instructions for use should be developed by a competent person

·         If the mobile plant is a tractor, a roll-over protective structure that complies with as1636.1-1996 is fitted.

 

Since 2013 there have been 29 accepted workers’ compensation claims for injuries associated with plant rollovers in the agricultural industry. Of these, nine involved mobile plant including a harvester, grader, loader and dozer.

In the same period, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has issued 12 improvement and 11 prohibition notices for issues associated with agricultural plant rollover.

In 2017, a company was fined $70,000 after a worker was killed while performing scrub pulling using two bulldozers connected by a chain.

One of the dozers had mechanical problems and stopped. The worker got off the dozer to investigate but the second dozer continued on, pulling the first dozer over the worker. There was no communication system in place between the dozers.