WorkSafe reminds construction companies to ensure safety on heavy machinery

Construction companies operating in built-up areas are reminded to ensure safety following two serious incidents where heavy machinery struck suburban houses.

A mast of piling rig struck a neighbouring house at a construction site in Strathmore on Tuesday. Last week, a mobile crane lowering a spa bath into a backyard in Altona overbalanced. The boom dropped onto the roof of a neighbouring house.

WorkSafe Head of Hazardous Industries and Industry Practice Michael Coffey said the incidents should serve as warnings to construction companies working in built-up areas on the need to carefully plan work that involved heavy machinery and to ensure that it was done properly.

“Thankfully no one was injured in these incidents, but the damage caused shows just how dangerous operating large machines near houses can be,” said Mr. Coffey.

“Any construction company working in a built-up area needs to be mindful of the restrictions of the site they are working on and plan accordingly, because it is unacceptable to put the lives of workers, and neighbours, at risk.”

When operating heavy machinery, WorkSafe reminds employers to ensure that:

  • Appropriate machinery is used for the task
  • A Safe Work Method Statement has been prepared, if necessary for the task
  • Machinery is separated from workers and members of the public
  • Exclusion zones for overhead powerlines and underground assets are implemented and maintained
  • The condition of the ground has been assessed, and can support the machinery
  • Operators are correctly trained and supervised and hold the correct high-risk work license

Moe information on safe operation of powered mobile machinery is available here

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