WorkSafe Victoria is investigating three workplace deaths — two of which occurred within the space of three days after a traffic controller was struck by a vehicle on 21 October at Trawalla and a man who died while working alone at a folding bed manufacturing factory in Geelong was found on 23 October. The third fatality occurred on 28 October when a worker died after falling under a reversing truck. The deaths bring the state’s workplace fatality toll to 60 for 2020, four more than at the same time last year.
Regarding the first incident, it is believed that the 59-year-old traffic controller was standing next to his vehicle, which was pulled over on the left side of the Western Highway on-ramp, when he was hit by an eastbound vehicle. The road worker was in the process of setting up for traffic control duties on the on-ramp to the Western Highway at 7.20 am.
As the Creswick man was at his stationary duty, which was parked in the emergency lane, he was struck by an eastbound Toyota utility. The driver of the Toyota, a 39-year-old Lucas man, stopped and rendered assistance; however, the traffic controller died at the scene. Major Collision Investigation Unit detectives were on the scene, with the Western Highway closed eastbound between Ararat and Ballarat.
In a statement, Victoria Police called on anyone who witnessed the incident, or who may have dashcam footage, to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
The second fatality, at a Geelong folding bed manufacturer, occurred when the 71-year-old worker’s clothing became tangled in machinery at the North Shore factory. The worker was found on Friday, 23 October.
The third fatality, at a Yarraville transport depot on Wednesday, 28 October, occurred when a worker fell under a reversing truck. It is believed that the 65-year-old man was directing a co-worker to reverse a truck and trailer into a shed when he stumbled and fell into the path of the trailer.
WorkSafe Victoria is investigating all three incidents.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Daniel Avram