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New SafeWork incident report on truck crush fatality

Coroner probing as tow truck driver crushed by rolling prime mover


SafeWork NSW reports a 52-year-old tow truck driver was fatally crushed by a prime mover in Newcastle on August 10.

The safety watchdog’s incident report explains the driver was struck as the prime mover rolled off a tilt tray semi-trailer.

“The incident occurred as the truck driver was loading the prime mover he had purchased onto the tilt tray semi-trailer,” it says.

“It appears that when the driver raised the tilt tray to place tie down chains around the chassis of the prime mover, it rolled backwards off the tilt tray and crushed him.

“NSW Police are preparing a coroner’s report.”

Earlier this year SafeWork reported on low-loader trailer incidents

SafeWork NSW’s incident report on the event reminds businesses to consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risk of uncontrolled movements of vehicles.

The include:

  • park the vehicle on level ground. If not, be aware of the vehicle limitations and what to do when parking on a gradient
  • use chocks behind the wheel to prevent uncontrolled movement
  • always apply the parking brake when exiting the vehicle
  • make sure the vehicle is inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • understand the components and limitations of the braking system
  • when recovering or towing vehicles, use designated connection points and check the braking systems and steering controls for damage
  • when connecting recovery equipment to vehicles, do not place yourself between potential crush points
  • make sure workers are provided with training and instruction on assessing and using recovery systems
  • develop site specific parking locations and procedures in consultation with workers
  • make sure you have the necessary training and experience to identify hazards associated with uncontrolled movement of vehicles
  • routinely monitor and review all control measures
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