WorkSafe commissioner concerned after two crane safety incidents in three days

Lachlan Roberts 25 February 2019
Work safety

WorkSafe ACT commissioner Greg Jones has shared his concern after two potentially fatal incidents involving cranes occurred at separate Canberra work sites in the past three days.

WorkSafe ACT is continuing to investigate how a large mobile crane tipped onto its end during maintenance activity at a Hume worksite on Friday afternoon. The crane has been safely righted following a carefully planned operation on Saturday morning (23 February).

Mr Jones said the investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing and said it was very fortunate that no workers were injured in the incident.

He said workers who were at the site at the time of the incident have been offered incident trauma counselling noting the significance of the incident and the close proximity of some workers to the crane when it tipped up.

“This was a large crane that essentially tipped on its end with the boom landing very close to workers,” he said. “The consequences of this could have been fatal.”

In an unrelated incident, a counterweight from a large mobile crane dislodged and fell damaging a small truck parked close on Sunday morning (24 February) at a Gungahlin work site. The truck was unoccupied at the time and no-one was injured.

WorkSafe ACT, which is investigating the incident, said workers appear to have been trying to remove the counterweight when it fell.

Mr Jones said he was concerned that this was the second potentially fatal mobile crane safety incident over the weekend.

“I strongly remind all employers and workers to ensure they carefully plan all operations, especially those involving high-risk activities such as cranes or plant equipment,” he said.

“Safe Work Method Statements must cover all risks with appropriate mitigation strategies and it is critical that all workers are fully inducted into their Safe Work Method Statements.”

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