Mobile piling rig crushes worker's hand

Monday, 23 July, 2018

Mobile piling rig crushes worker's hand

A mobile piling rig has rolled over and crushed a Queensland worker’s hand.

The incident took place in June 2018, when the mobile piling rig was being operated in crane mode.

According to a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland incident report, the operator was part of a team replacing a wooden railway bridge.

Initial inquiries indicate that the piling rig was carrying a load across the tracks when it rolled over on to its side, squashing the cab and crushing his hand. Investigations are continuing.

The incident report goes on to state that mobile plant overturning always has the potential for serious injury from being struck, pinned or crushed. The risk of overturning is increased when the plant, such as a piling rig, is raised in height or operating on soft sloping or uneven ground. Factors that may affect the stability of the crane include:

  • poor ground conditions such as unstable ground, nearby trenches and underground services
  • ground slope in the travel direction and side slope
  • travelling with a suspended load too high (in the case of a piling rig this can include the hammer or other parts that can be raised or lowered)
  • failure to use or fully extend outriggers or stabilisers
  • failure to level the plant
  • rapid slewing
  • high wind conditions
  • excessive travel speed, particularly when a load is being carried
  • load movement when travelling due to the nature of the load or because it isn’t secured.

According to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, operators must:

  • have a comprehensive knowledge of the operating capabilities of the plant
  • be competent to carry out the lifting operation
  • ensure it is driven to suit the environmental conditions and slow enough to retain control in unexpected circumstances
  • reduce speed before turning or applying brakes
  • watch out for ditches, embankments and ground depressions as overturns can occur
  • ensure loads are evenly balanced and well secured.

Image credit: ©Igor Stevanovic/Dollar Photo Club

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