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Driver seriously injured when crushed between prime mover and loader

10 June 2015

Please see below Safety Alert from the Government of Western Australia 

Significant Incident Report No. 220

Subject: Driver seriously injured when crushed between prime mover and loader

Date: 08 June 2015

Summary of incident

A road train, incorporating a prime mover, lead trailer and dog trailer, was loaded at a quarry while on a 5.5 per cent slope. Its wheels were in loose sand with firm compacted ground underneath. The road train remained stationary while being loading.

When loading had finished, the road train driver went to collect the loading docket from the loader driver, who had parked his loader in front of the road train. The road train rolled forward as it overcame the resistance provided by the loose sand, crushing the driver against the ladder on the loader.

The recovery team, reversing the road train to release the injured driver, found that the park brake had not been applied.

The driver’s serious crush injuries included broken bones.

Direct causes

  • No parking brake was applied while the road train was parked on the slope.
  • The driver was in the line-of-fire of the moving road train.

Contributory causes

There was:

  • no warning signal in the cabin to remind the driver to apply the park brake before leaving the vehicle
  • no written loading procedure based on a formal risk assessment
  • no written procedure or controls for preventing a runaway vehicle.

Actions required

Before relinquishing control of mobile plant, operators should ensure it is correctly parked.

Managers and supervisors are reminded to implement site procedures to maintain safe working conditions for workers and contractors involved in loading operations. Specifically, they should:

  • perform risk assessments for loading and unloading operations to identify hazards, and develop and implement safe work procedures.
  • prepare a traffic management plan covering all aspects of the operation of surface mobile equipment on site, including the interaction of heavy and light vehicles with pedestrians.
  • provide induction, training, instructions and supervision of operators, including road train drivers, in all loading and unloading activities.
  • conduct workplace inspections to verify compliance with site standards and legislation.

Further information

Visit for information on occupational safety and health in the resources sector.
This Significant Incident Report was approved for release by the State Mining Engineer on 08 June 2015


Driver seriously injured when crushed between prime mover and loader