A truck arrived on the Wallace Street Pipeline project to deliver a precast concrete manhole (1.2 ton). The manhole needed to be offloaded and placed in an excavation ready for installation the following morning.
A 14 excavator was moved into position adjacent to the truck and the manhole was rigged for lifting. Once the load was rigged, the operator lifted the manhole off the truck, slewed the excavator and load 90° over the tracks to test the load stability and then started to track towards the excavation.
As the excavator neared the excavation, the operator extended the boom and started to slew the manhole over an existing services chamber towards the excavation. As the load has slewed the excavator has become unstable and has tipped over onto its side.
The excavator was fitted with a Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS), and the operator was wearing his seatbelt so was not injured, an exclusion zone had been established prior to the task commencing and all workers were in a safe location at the time of the incident.
What action has taken place already?
- The incident scene was frozen immediately
- BPC management team and Wellington Water were immediately advised of the incident
- The excavator was secured in position to ensure no further movement occurred overnight
- Post incident drug and alcohol testing was completed on the operator and dogman
- An investigation team has been formed and the investigation has commenced
Important reminder for all of us (pre-investigation)
- Ensure that workers operating plant and equipment are trained, competant and authorised
- Workers involved in lifting operations need to be trained and assessed as competant
- When using an excavator for lifting, the bucket must be removed prior to the task commencing
- If excavators are used for pick and place operations, ensure the travel route is clear of obstructions
- Always assess ground conditions when undertaking lifting operations