Two fatal accidents at the Sydney Markets have lead to the introduction of mandatory seatbelts and rollover protection for all onsite forklifts.
The accidents, occurring in 2012 and 2013, forced the country’s largest fresh-food market to seriously scrutinise their safety standards and operations.
Every night 5,000 workers move at a frenzied pace around the 43-hectre sheds while 850 forklift trucks are in flight. The scenario makes for a high-risk situation for all involved. The perils of such a workplace were brought to the forefront after two fatal accidents within less than a year. Now, as of last week, rollover bars and seatbelts are compulsory on all forklifts operating at the busy market.
The June 2012 accident involved a driver being fatally injured after being crushed by his tipped vehicle. The forklift had hit a curb causing it to turn over and for the driver, Filipe Hehea, to be killed.
The subsequent WorkCover investigation found that it was an accident.
Seven months later, on 14 January 2013, another forklift driver died after a collision. One of the forklifts overturned causing the driver, Mark Rushton, to be killed. This accident is still being investigated.
The team at Sydney Markets hopes the new mandate on forklift safety will prevent serious injuries and potential fatalities in the future.
Life-threatening injuries occur in forklift accidents where a vehicle tips often because of a person’s natural instinct to jump. However, the weight of the forklift will cause it to fall faster than most people can remove themselves from the vehicle, causing drivers to get caught under the structure. This can lead to crushed limbs or serious head injuries.
Seatbelts however inhibit the driver’s reaction to jump. Instead, they’re restrained in the vehicle where the possibility of serious bodily harm is reduced, as long as appropriate safety gear is in use.
If you find yourself in a tipping vehicle:
- Do not attempt to jump
- Brace your feet firmly on the floor
- Hold tightly onto the steering wheel
- Lean away from the direction in which the forklift is falling.
First Aid Training is the best way to keep safe onsite.
First aid training for all employees, particularly forklift operators, is just one of the ways that high-risk workplace safety can be improved. By teaching drivers how to assess risk, identify a crisis and deal with the situation using effective, respectful and potentially life-saving procedures.
In an ACE Forklift Training First Aid Course, you’ll learn about and how to deal with:
- Basic Life Support (DRSABCD)
- CPR and AED
- Shock Management
- Airway Management – Asthma, Choking, Severe Allergic Reaction, Hyperventilation
- Cardiac Emergencies
- Seizures and Convulsions
- Bleeding and Wound Care
- Burns and Scalds
- Extremes of Heat and Cold
- Musculoskeletal Injuries
- Poisons and Toxic Substances
- Bites and Stings
- Abdominal Injuries
You’ll also learn how to assess the risk possibilities in various situations; how to navigate said risk and how to limit the possible injurious outcomes of an accident.
If you’re interested in learning more about our First Aid Courses visit the course outline page.