Two men were lucky to escape earlier this month when the ground under the wheels of the telescopic boom lift they were using, subsided, overturning the lift and dumping them into the sea at a port in Western Australia.
The two were ignoring most safety advice and training not to use a harness and lanyard while working over water, and to use a life vest, but they did manage to unclip themselves and swim to safety.
The incident occurred on the evening of May 4th at the port of Geraldton, north of Perth in Western Australia.
The lift, a 125ft Genie S-125 owned by Onsite Rental, was working on sandy soil near to the edge of Berth 5, the boom was well extended over the side at a fairly low elevation to carry out work on a conveyor that passes over the water. The boom’s wheels then sank into the soft ground, the machine overturned and the platform was thrust under water, giving the operators a soft landing, but potentially trapping them with their lanyards.
Thankfully this did not happen and neither were seriously injured, although both were taken to hospital, one with a minor injury and both in a state of shock. They were later released and have returned to work. Neither was wearing a flotation device.
The port, which has categorised this as a ‘serious near miss’, says that the platform was operated by contractors to Karara Mining. The incident was reported to Worksafe WA for investigation.
Category: Accident Report