Mobile plant strikes horse race spectators

Tuesday, 11 June, 2019

Mobile plant strikes horse race spectators

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) have issued an incident alert after spectators were injured at a horseracing event in March this year.

The spectators were struck by a mobile starting barrier as it sped away from the horses at the start of the race, according to the alert.

While this kind of incident is unusual, public event organisers have a duty to identify and manage any potential risks that could affect the health and safety of participants, attendees or workers.

In fact, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is required to do so under work health and safety laws.

A PCBU, as an event organiser, “needs to anticipate all reasonably foreseeable risks that audience members are likely to be exposed to and provide reasonable practicable control measures in response”, according to the alert.

This includes implementing effective barrier systems that protect spectators if a plant, vehicle or piece of equipment crashes on the track, clearly marking exclusion zones based on the type of event and mobile plant involved and ensuring the plant and equipment is maintained and inspected in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications.

Additionally, event organisers should provide workers with communication systems if more than one person is needed to operate the plant or machinery.

Image credit: © Alford

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