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Vehicle loading cranes workshop 2019

Presented by Mano Raghavan from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, this webinar focusses on informing owners and Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) to ensure that vehicle loading crane stabilisers and outriggers should always be packed, locked and secured safely for travel.

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Mano Raghavan: Welcome, my name is Mano Raghavan and I am the Principal Advisor to the Manufacturing and Transport Strategy Team. The theme of my presentation will be focused on informing you as owners and Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) to ensure that your vehicle loading crane stabilisers and outriggers should always be packed, locked and secured safely for travel.

Mano Raghavan: Throughout my presentation I will be referring Vehicle Loading Cranes as VLCs. As you are aware VLCs or crane trucks come in various shape, weight or sizes. The joint campaign covers all manually operated stabilisers or outriggers on VLCs regardless of its shape or weight.

Mano Raghavan: The VLC campaign in Queensland is a joint campaign between Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the Department of Transport and Main Roads. We commenced the campaign in August 2018 which, involved state-wide roadside interceptions and assessments at weigh bridges in Queensland, followed by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland conducting several follow-up visits at workplaces with VLCs. Various internal and external consultation were conducted prior to the launch of this campaign.

Mano Raghavan: Background. In October 2013, A 31-year old cyclist, while cycling from work to home, was hit when the stabiliser extended unintentionally during travel. The cyclist died from multiple injuries. In June 2017, a stabiliser arm extended and struck a car travelling in the opposite direction. An 80-year-old motorist died at the scene. In February 2018, a van driver was killed when a VLC stabiliser extended and pushed the van over the driver while he was unloading it.

Mano Raghavan: Nationally, there has been several incidents of VLC stabilisers extending during travel and have caused property damage along roadside including parked vehicles. These types of incidents are not reported to Workplace Health and Safety as they are classed as insurance claims. An example of this would be recent incident in Queensland that happened in April 2018 where a vehicle loading crane or VLC driver decided to drive his VLC 20 metres up the road. He packed the passenger side stabiliser and for unknown reason failed to pack the driver side stabiliser and drove the VLC and damaged a parked ute along the roadside.

Mano Raghavan: Coronial investigations and findings. After the occurrence of the first fatality in 2013, and during coronial investigation and enquiry, Workplace Health and Safety conducted a short regional campaign to identify whether the incidents of stabilisers extending unintentionally during travel could re-occur in Queensland.

Mano Raghavan: A total of 45 assessments were conducted as trial on various VLCs in the region, and it was discovered that almost 75 per cent of VLCs assessed had faulty stabiliser locking devices, meaning that this incident could re-occur again in Queensland.

Mano Raghavan:Again, through various internal and external consultation and coordination, a campaign plan was developed with measures to effectively communicate to owners and PCBUs with VLCs and control the risk of stabilisers extending unintentionally during travel. The recommendation from the strategy team to the coroner is to have a joint interagency campaign and further updates were given to the coroner when the 2017 incident occurred. The current campaign is published in the coroner's report.

Mano Raghavan: Consultation and communication. As stated earlier, various internal and external consultation was conducted prior to the launch of this campaign. We developed several guidance materials for workplaces with VLCs, consisting of safety alerts, and a self-assessment tool for owners and PCBUs to manage and control the risk related to stabilisers extending during travel. These were also published on Workplace Health and Safety Queensland's website.

Mano Raghavan: In addition, we sent approximately 45,000 emails to CV and DG license holders informing of this campaign, and together with the email safety alerts and self-assessment tools were attached. With the assistance of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Appendix Q was developed for Queensland to authorise the Department of Transport and Main Roads to assess VLC stabiliser locks and issue defect notices for non-compliance.

Mano Raghavan: These changes were added to the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection manual and also communicated by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to approved inspection stations in Queensland.

Mano Raghavan: Joint interagency VLC compliance campaign launched in August 2018. The aim of this joint campaign is to prevent and control the risks of unintentional extending of manually operated VLC stabilisers and outriggers.

Mano Raghavan: The next few slides are pictures of roadside interceptions and assessments.

Insurance claim incident. This is a picture of a stabiliser that was not packed, where the operator drove the VLC with stabiliser extended and caused significant damage to a parked ute.

Another insurance claim. This incident occurred in Victoria where stabiliser extended during travel in a residential area and caused damage to a parked car.

This is a picture of a damaged stabiliser after impact with a parked car.

From roadside assessments a picture of a damaged carabiner used as a secondary lock to secure stabiliser.

From roadside assessments a picture of wire used as secondary lock.

Wire used as secondary lock.

Picture of damaged secondary lock.

Mano Raghavan: Faulty secondary lock. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland engineers demonstrating if primary lock faulty or not engaged, and secondary lock faulty, stabilisers can extend with ease during travel (video plays).

Damaged primary lock secured with spanner.

This is a picture of the same photo taken from a different angle.

Both primary and secondary locks damaged and stabiliser secured with an unrated chain.

This is a picture of after the roadside assessment, Workplace Health and Safety inspectors asked the operator to secure the stabiliser for travel.

Damaged secondary lock.

Another picture of damaged secondary lock.

Damaged primary lock.

Damaged primary lock.

VLC crane not folded correctly and intercepted by the Department of Transport and Main Roads during travel.

The same photo taken at a different angle.

Stabiliser secured with chain and damaged carabiner.

Stabiliser secured using unrated chain.

Mano Raghavan: The VLC campaign started in 2018 and will continue with roadside interceptions and assessments until 2020, and from there on the Department of Transport Main Roads will adopt these interceptions as daily operations.

Mano Raghavan: How can you help? Here are some of the ways that you can adopt to assist all of us. Ensure that VLCs with manual operated stabilisers have two separate locking devices for each stabiliser - primary, and secondary. At least one of these will be automatically operated. For example, a spring-operated cam lock and an automatic spring latch. Locking devices should be operational and not faulty. If a VLC has only a primary lock, it must be fitted with a secondary lock. A chain is not classed as a secondary lock.

Ensure that your VLCs are fully maintained including your stabilisers.

Ensure that your operators are competent to not only operate the VLCs but also the stabilisers.

Ensure that you have working visual and audible alarms installed.

Mano Raghavan: Another way you can help is to complete a self-assessment tool which you can download from

Mano Raghavan: If you have any questions related to the VLC campaign, please call 1300 362 128. Thank you for your time.

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