What Happened / Impact?
A large stone (pictured) stuck between the dual tyres of a truck engaged in site clearance works became dislodged as the truck gathered speed and was catapulted from the rear wheels. The stone travelled across a road and foot path and came to rest when it hit a hoarding of a nearby site.
Fortunately, there were no vehicles passing on the other carriageway or pedestrians on the footpath as the outcome could have been much worse.
Why It Happened?
- Hard-standing was unsuitable for the trucks being loaded in that it was not suitably blinded off.
- Trucks leaving the site were not subject to visual checks to confirm the absence of materials/stone between the dual tyres.
Immediate Learnings / Recommendations
- It can be difficult to identify rocks stuck between dual/double tyres, particularly on the inner axle.
- A suitable haul road should be installed with a blinded surface to prevent large stones encountering the truck wheels.
- All trucks to be checked for lodged stones prior to leaving site if there is a risk of the wheels coming into contact with same.
- A safe system of work needs to be in place to remove stones that become lodged in the space between dual tyres. A system that uses downward force only is preferred as it eliminates the risk of the stone becoming a projectile during the removal operation.
- A crowbar used correctly is a viable tool for stone removal.
- The use of a proprietary devise on the quick-hitch of an excavator may be used to remove lodged stones.
Note: Never wrap a sling or chain behind a stone or rock to pull it out as it can become more of a hazard due to the possibility of it becoming a projectile.