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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.
Tuesday, 2 April, 2019 - 11:15
Policy & legislation
National News

WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert about the significant hazards and risks associated with working on dual car single mast personnel and materials hoists, after an incident which led to an employee losing his foot via amputation.

A 40-year-old male employee’s right foot was amputated while he was conducting mechanical works on a dual car, single mast personnel and materials hoist. Two hoists ran up and down the single mast, which was attached to the outside of a high-rise building under construction.

The incident occurred while the employee was conducting works associated with a ‘jump’ of the hoist, while on the structure of the mast.

Jumping is the process undertaken to extend the mast and install the associated hoist systems and componentry, and this enables hoists to access newly built higher floors as construction progresses.

The second hoist car (which remained in operational use) travelled into the employee’s work zone and his foot became trapped, resulting in the amputation.

WorkSafe Victoria said there are a number of recommended ways to control associated risks.

Both hoists of a dual car personnel and material hoist should be removed from service during the activities of servicing, maintenance or jumping.

The maintenance crew should also be in control of the operation of both cars until works are complete.

WorkSafe is also developing further guidance on appropriate risk control measures that should be implemented when these activities are performed.

In terms of legal duties, WorkSafe said employers must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain for their employees a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.

They must also provide or maintain plant or systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.