Easy OHS

Big Fine over Agitator Truck Entanglement Death

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Hunter Valley concrete company has been fined nearly $100,000 after one of its employees was killed on the job.

Hunter Readymixed Concrete was charged by WorkCover for breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act after an incident in February 2008.

Employee Todd Ashley Smyth was cleaning one of the company's trucks at its Gateshead premises when his head was crushed between the truck's concrete agitator and the side of the hopper, killing him.

The Industrial Relations Court heard the only training the employees received in terms of cleaning the trucks was through a "buddy system".

The company has since fitted all its trucks with a guard between the agitator and the hopper, changed how it cleans its trucks and started a formal training regime.

The company has been found guilty has been fined $85,000.


Reported by ABC News

EasyOHS Moderator Comments

How compliant is your machine guarding?

Under the requirements of AS4024 and various OHS laws, you must protect persons against the potential for crush or entanglement from machinery. 

Key issues:

1)  OEM (Original equipment manufacturer) guarding to meet requirements of AS4024 - Machine Guarding
2)  National Standard for Plant 1010 - looks at various requirements for machine safety (download here)
3)  Are all guards in place,  and impossible or difficult to defeat?
4)  Are guards suitable for the risk exposure?
5)  Is further exclusion required (eg:  perimeter fencing / locked gates?)
6)  Are e-stops in place?
7)  Are interlocks in place?
8)  Is there an inspection, mainteance and testing process for safety critical guarding and interlocks?
9)  Are warning decals / signage in place re crush / entanglement points?

Kind Regards

EasyOHS Advisory Team

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