Personnel and materials hoist crushes a worker

Wednesday, 30 May, 2018

Personnel and materials hoist crushes a worker

A personnel and materials hoist pinned and crushed a worker during a multistorey building project on the Gold Coast.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland are investigating the incident, and explained that he was working on the roof of Car 1 of the dual carriage hoist and was connected via a safety harness attached to Car 2.

“Our investigation to date indicates that Car 2 started automatically and as it moved up, he was lifted by his harness and pinned against a structural tie. The hoist operator then activated the emergency stop button bringing the hoist to a halt,” it said in an incident alert.

“Our initial inspection of the hoist indicates it was in automatic mode, negating the need for the operator to operate a constant pressure switch at the main control panel.”

According to the incident alert, hoists should be fitted with a device to prevent inadvertent operation, with controls that return automatically to a stop position when they are released, or a constant pressure switch to control the motion of the car, and an emergency stop button. Similar controls should also be fitted to the roof of a car including a switch that ensures movement of the device can only be controlled by the person on the roof. These devices prevent a car from moving unless directly under the control and supervision of an operator.

It encouraged owners and suppliers of personnel and material hoists operating in Queensland to ensure the main control panel of the car is fitted with a constant pressure switch that the operator is required to activate for the car to move. Operating a hoist without a constant pressure switch at the main control panel is not providing an adequate level of safety, the alert said.

Duty holders should also ensure suitable systems are in place for working at heights. Workplace Health and Safety recommends workers should only attach to designated certified anchorage points that are free from obstruction, and interference from moving objects. When on the roof of a car on a hoist, they should ensure that access is only made through the access door of that car, and if required, the hoist car is controlled from the roof by that person. Never access the roof by climbing from another car or from another part of a structure.

“Since 2012, there have been 22 accepted workers compensation claims for serious injuries involving hoists in the construction industry. Of these, 15 involved being hit by moving machinery or objects, or being trapped between stationary and moving objects,” the alert explained.

“In the same period, we have issued 16 improvement notices, 13 prohibition notices and 1 infringement notice for issues associated with hoists on construction sites.”

Image credit: ©FotoliaRAW/Dollar Photo Club

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