Worker fatalities prompt safety reminder about industrial gates

Friday, 23 June, 2023

Worker fatalities prompt safety reminder about industrial gates

SafeWork NSW has reminded those who own industrial gates to get them checked after a number of serious incidents, including two deaths. While industrial gates can effectively protect property at home or on worksites, they can be extremely dangerous if not properly maintained as they can weigh hundreds of kilograms. A lack of maintenance can cause them to fall or become unhinged and can cause serious injury or even death.

A 64-year-old worker died in 2020 after an electric industrial gate weighing nearly 260 kg fell on him as he was trying to manually open it. The gate and surrounding fencing had been damaged and was yet to be repaired. From 2017 to 2022, there have been 17 serious injuries to workers involving industrial gates, including two worker fatalities. The top cause of injuries by falling industrial gates are a fractured pelvis and a fractured vertebra.

SafeWork NSW inspectors are checking industrial gates at construction, agricultural, transport and warehousing worksites. Individuals may be fined up to $720 and businesses up to $3600 for gates that pose a threat to the safety of workers and the community.

Head of SafeWork NSW Natasha Mann said it is important that workers and members of the public are kept safe from falling industrial gates. Mann urged employers to pay specific attention to the condition of industrial gates in their workplace or face the consequences if their gates pose a threat to worker safety.

“If industrial gates are not regularly inspected and maintained, the risk of serious injury increases dramatically. Worse still would be if someone was injured or killed in a preventable incident due to your negligence. If you own an industrial gate, answer this question — When was the last time you checked your gate?” Mann said.

To find out more on industrial gate safety, click here.

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