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Vehicle loading cranes audit campaign ramps up

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the Department of Transport and Main Roads recently completed a series of weighbridge and roadside assessments of vehicle loading cranes. The assessments were part of a response to several serious incidents involving failed or incorrectly stowed outriggers on trucks fitted with VLCs.

To date there have been over 300 assessments of VLCs, with inspectors identifying a significant number of non-compliance issues, many creating a risk that stabilisers could extend during travel. These issues include:

  • VLCs with only one stabiliser locking device and no secondary locking mechanism
  • VLC operator not competent to use the stabilisers
  • stabilisers not secured due to faulty or damaged locking device
  • no maintenance on the stabilisers (damaged, with oil leaks)
  • stabilisers secured by non-rated (electrical wire) straps due to faulty or damaged locks
  • stabiliser alarms by-passed due to faulty locks.

So far, inspectors have issued over 90 statutory notices to PCBUs and owners of VLCs. That number is likely to increase when a second round of roadside and weighbridge assessments kicks off next month. Work health and safety inspectors will also visit around 400 workplaces with a focus on how PCBUs and VLC owners are managing the risk of unintentional extending of stabilisers during travel.

In the last decade there have been three fatalities, a number of serious injuries, and extensive property damage on Queensland roads when VLC stabilisers extended during travel. The audit campaign responds to what is a clear need to educate operators and enforce the safe use and operation of VLC stabilisers and outriggers in this state.

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Last updated
31 October 2018

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