The operation of powered mobile plant on construction sites can expose workers to a wide range of health and safety risks. These risks need to be identified and assessed in order for them to be eliminated or controlled to minimise the risk of injury to workers.
Some of the risks include:
- The risk of plant overturning
- The risk of things falling on the operator of the plant
- Risk of the operator being ejected from the plant
- the possibility of plant colliding or coming into contact with any person or thing (e.g. workers, other vehicles or plant, energised powerlines)
- Risk of mechanical or other failures occurring (e.g. hydraulic failures, release of hazardous substances).
People required to operate or work around powered mobile plant may also be exposed to excessive noise and vibration, hazardous fumes, fall hazards while accessing or evacuating the plant, and musculoskeletal hazards. Examples of powered mobile plant used on construction sites are earthmoving machinery (e.g. rollers, graders, scrapers, bobcats), excavators, cranes, hoists, elevating work platforms, concrete placement booms and reach stackers and forklifts.
Mobile plant has been associated with a number of workplace fatalities and serious injuries, the most common being:
- falls from
- crushing by
- run-over by
- roll-overs of tractors and forklifts; and
- entanglement in and being trapped between moving parts.
There is also the risk of the mobile plant igniting in flames, visit http://www.whitecardaustralia.com.au/blog/preventing-mobile-plant-fires/ for more about preventing mobile plant fires.