By Andrew Starke
WorkCover NSW has issued a safety alert on the use of mobile bins at wineries on the eve of the 2010 grape harvest.
The alert follows an inquest into the death of a worker at Toorak Winery in 2008.
At the 2009 inquest the coroner recommended that WorkCover authorities across Australia issue warnings to users of the Potter tanker system.
The worker was emptying grape juice and skins (known as marc) from a Potter overhead fermentation tank into a mobile bin when the rapid discharge of contents from the tank caused the bin to move and crush the worker.
WorkCover CEO, Lisa Hunt, said: “It is vital that wineries have effective safety controls in place before undertaking the task of emptying overhead fermenter tanks for the 2010 grape harvest.
“The safety controls should also address the draining of juice and the discharge of marc from the tanks,” she said.
The WorkCover Safety Alert urges wineries to consider a number of risk control measures, to ensure that: uncontrolled movement of the bins is prevented; drive-wheel controls on bins are the hold-to-run type; potential crush points around the fermenter tanks are eliminated or controlled; and remotely-controlled discharge doors on fermentation tanks are fitted away from the doors.
More information is available from the WorkCover website by clicking here.