Tipped tippers spur watchdog safety caution

WorkSafe responds to instances of trailers overturning while unloading

Tipped tippers spur watchdog safety caution
Image from one of the incidents


Workplace safety authority WorkSafe Victoria issues a reminder about the risks associated with unloading trucks, after two recent incidents involving semi tippers rolling over at mines.

The first incident involved a semi tipper rolling onto its side whilst unloading roadbase on a downward sloping roadway.

Material that stuck within the trailer while it was being raised contributed to instability, WorkSafe notes.

The second incident involved a B-double truck’s front trailer rolling on its side while unloading gypsum on flat ground.

The material had consolidated as a result of being in the trailer for an extended period, causing it to stick in the trailer during unloading.

tipper 2.JPG

In both instances the operator remained in the cab and was also uninjured.

WorkSafe points to the following hazards that may pose a risk to employee health and safety when unloading trucks:

  • uneven, soft or unconsolidated ground
  • material consolidating within trailers due to retention times and/or physical property change
  • slippery or low traction surfaces
  • overhead powerlines or structures
  • faulty or misused braking systems
  • nearby mobile or fixed plant

"Unloading on a downward slope, with the cabin at the downhill end, increases the potential for material to remain within a trailer whilst raising the plant’s centre of gravity," the watchdog adds.

"It is important to recognise that this may significantly reduce overall stability."

Employers are urged to manage truck maintenance risks after an apprentice death

Employers and operators are advised to:

  • identify all potential hazards before unloading
  • ensure appropriate safe systems of work are in place
  • ensure that systems of work are regularly monitored, reviewed and, if necessary, revised
  • include a broad range of expertise and personnel when conducting risk assessment to ensure all aspects of risk are considered
  • ensure that tipping areas are level and stable
  • ensure that the density and flowability of material being unloaded is known and understood
  • ensure that material in trailers is monitored while unloading to check whether it is sticking in the trailer

Employers are also reminded these fall under their responsibilities to provide and maintain a safe working environment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.


You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook


Trucks For Hire | Forklifts For Hire | Cranes For Hire | Generators For Hire | Transportable Buildings For Hire