28 Mar 2019
Ref No.: 280319 (2)
Dear Valued ASPRI Members,
Accident Advisory: Worker injured at disposal facility
Ref: 1819094 WSH Alert Accident Notification dated 13 March 2019
On 1 March 2019, around 6pm, a worker who had driven a skip bin truck to a disposal facility to unload construction debris from the truck was found injured on the ground behind the truck. The worker was conveyed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the following day.
Persons in control of workplaces conducting similar work activities, such as occupiers, employers, principals and contractors are advised to consider the following risk control measures to prevent similar accidents:
Safe Work Procedure
- Establish and implement a Safe Work Procedure (SWP) for all work activities (including the truck unloading activity in this case) so that workers are guided on how to carry out their tasks safely.
- SWP for truck unloading may include the following:
- park the truck on flat, even and stable ground, wherever possible
- engage the vehicle’s handbrake and deploy wheel chocks to prevent accidental truck movement
- check the skip bin prior to unloading to understand the type and nature of the waste materials in the bin
- adpot a safe position when unlocking the skip bin door locking mechanism
- take a safe route (e.g. walking around the front of the truck) for access to the skip bin door after unlocking and once the unloading process has begun
- Advise workers to stay clear from the rear of the vehicle once the door locking mechanism is released. As the skip bin’s door may be holding back loose materials, there is a danger of the door suddenly swinging outwards once the door lock is released. This can result in those materials (potentially heavy and with sharp edges) cascading to the ground, and injuring anyone standing behind the door.
- Remind workers of the hazards during safety briefings and to display suitable warning signs on the skip bin’s door.
- Ensure that workers are familiar with the SWP and provide supervision to ensure compliance with SWP and other control measures.
Personal protective equipment
- Provide workers with a hard hat (safety helmet), safety shoes (with hard toe cap) and other personal protective equipment that are necessary during the unloading work activity.
Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment (RA) specifically for the unloading process starting with the act of opening the door of the skip bin. The RA should include, but is not limited to, the following areas:
- Possibility of door lock mechanism failure resulting in unintended or uncontrolled opening of the skip bin door.
- Possibility of the skip bin door swinging outwards upon the release of door locking mechanism due to materials leaning against the skip bin door.
- Possibility of materials falling onto the worker if the worker is standing in an unsafe position during the unloading process.
Other on-site activities
- As there may be other heavy vehicles/machinery (e.g. dump trucks, excavators) operating at the disposal facility, ensure that work that is incompatible with the unloading activity is not carried out at the same time. A traffic management plan should also be implemented.
- Address the risk of being struck by a machine or run over by a vehicle at the site and implement the necessary measures to control the risks. Such control measures may include the issuance of clear instructions to workers on where they must stand and the safe distance that they must observe in relation to the other hazards.
- Workplace Safety and Health Act
- Workplace Safety and Health (Risk Management) Regulations
- Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations
- Workplace Safety and Health (Construction) Regulations 2007
- Code of Practice on Workplace Safety and Health Risk Management
- WSH Guidelines on Safe Loading on Vehicles
- WSH Guidelines on Traffic Safety Management
- WSH Council’s Guide to Effective Toolbox Meeting
- WSH Council’s Activity Based Checklist for Effective Toolbox Meetings
- WSH Council’s Activity Based Checklist on Safe Loading of Materials
Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at
25 March 2019. This may be subject to change as investigations are still on-going. Please also note that the recommendations provided here are not exhaustive and they are meant to enhance workplace safety and health so that a recurrence may be prevented. The information and recommendations provided are not to be construed as implying any liability on any party nor should it be taken to encapsulate all the responsibilities and obligations under the law.