Sydney earthmoving company fined $90K after worker crushed by dump truck

A Sydney earthmoving company has been fined $90,000 after a 26-year-old man was crushed underneath the body of a dump truck and was left with serious injuries.

Haines Bros Earthmoving Pty Ltd (Haines Bros Earthmoving), which supplies civil construction and plant hire services, was sentenced at the District Court of NSW on 22 March for failing to maintain a safe working environment for its employees.

Executive Director for SafeWork Operations, Tony Williams said the avoidable incident was the result of a dump body carrying 30 tonnes of soil and gravel, lowering onto an experienced repairer.

“The worker was called to inspect and repair the malfunctioning truck, then began working underneath the raised dump body,” Mr Williams said.

“Unfortunately, the dump body was not locked properly, causing it to lower down and crush the victim.

“By the time the dump body was raised, severe damage had already been done to the worker’s lower back and hands.”

The court heard that no reference was given to the risk of a worker being crushed by lowering the dump body of a truck in the company’s risk assessment that occurred one year prior to the incident.

“If the worker had been provided with adequate safety training for repair and maintenance work, he may have been able to identify safety measures such as ensuring the dump body was secured in the maximum holding position by lever and dump body locks,” Mr Williams said.

“This is a serious reminder that companies need to ensure their workers are properly trained, and that they have documented Safe Operating Procedures in place to protect them.”

Haines Bros Earthmoving has the right to lodge an appeal.

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