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Date PostedNovember 1, 2013

White Card Update: Concrete Slab Crushes Worker on Sydney Site

An incident which happened last week has made headlines on most news sites because it was a freak accident which almost claimed the life of a worker in a site in Sydney.

A worker engaged in work on a construction site in Sydney was injured when a slab of concrete panels that was being lifted by crane to a second storey of the construction project fell. It appears that chains restraining the load gave in or were not properly fastened causing the load to fall 12 meters and hit the roof of a truck.

The victim was a 48 year old man who was standing on the truck when it was hit by the concrete slab, causing him to be stuck in the cab of the truck for almost an hour.

Although NSW Ambulance stabilised the man while he was in the truck, he was later taken to Royal Prince Alfred hospital in a stable condition with back and hip pain.

This excerpt from an article on DailyTelegraph.com.au explains what happened:

In a separate incident in Ultimo, a concrete slab fell 12 metres onto a 48-year-old man after it came out of its chains at the Haymarket work site about 11.30am.

The man was guiding crane operators when the crane reportedly swung into a metal loading platform which dislodged the concrete. He was stuck for almost an hour before being taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with back and hip injuries.

A hospital spokeswoman declined to give an update on the man’s condition.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/a-worker-has-been-injured-after-a-slab-of-material-fell-from-a-crane-onto-him-as-he-stood-on-truck/story-fni0cx12-1226691644275

The worker was lucky that the concrete was made from Hebel – a form of aerated concrete which weighs only about one quarter of the weight of regular concrete.

In another incident a 53 year old man wasn’t as lucky when a 2 tonne concrete block fell off a forklift as it was being moved. The man was trapped underneath the heavy slab for about 20 minutes but sadly succumbed to his injuries a short time after.

A post on DailyTelegraph.com.au explains what happened:

A 53-YEAR-OLD man died after a two-tonne concrete block fell off a moving forklift and crushed him at a worksite on the south coast.

Emergency services were called to Foreshore Rd in Port Kembla about 10.15am after the man became trapped under the concrete block.

He was trapped for nearly 20 minutes until police and ambulance officers freed him, a police spokeswoman said.

The man was taken to Wollongong Hospital in a critical condition. He died in hospital shortly after his arrival.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/a-worker-has-been-injured-after-a-slab-of-material-fell-from-a-crane-onto-him-as-he-stood-on-truck/story-fni0cx12-1226691644275

Police detectives and WorkCover representatives are looking into the cause of both the incidents. The fact that both these incidents occurred within the same week highlights the importance of safety when lifting loads on construction sites because as these cases highlight the consequences for mistakes can be fatal. Improperly secured loads are a major problem which should never even be occurring, especially when the risks of injuries are so great.


Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

Posted in White Card, White Card Construction Site Safety Articles Tagged with: , , ,


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