Working under elevated vehicles

The purpose of this Safety Alert is to highlight the risks associated with working underneath elevated vehicles.


A 24 year old worker in Katherine received serious crush injuries whilst carrying out maintenance work underneath a heavy vehicle. The vehicle suspension that was being worked on was not adequately supported, resulting in the axle assembly falling and crushing the worker.

Contributing factors

  • No risk assessment was undertaken before the worker commenced maintenance work under the vehicle
  • The axles were not restrained or adequately supported to eliminate the risk of a crush injury to workers under the vehicle
  • The worker was working directly under the piviot bar
  • The remaining wheels were not chocked to prevent them from moving.

Action required

  • Workers should conduct a risk assessment before undertaking any work that exposes a worker to a hazard
  • For work that is routinely carried out in the workplace, a risk assessment can help determine if any existing control measures are still effective
  • Always use load supports or lifting devices with the appropriate safe work limit before conducting work under a vehicle
  • All lifting devices e.g. hydraulic or pneumatic trolley jacks and load supports should have the safe working loads clearly marked
  • Ensure workers are provided with appropriate information instruction and training to successfully complete the tasks without risks to health and safety.

Further information


This Safety Alert contains safety information following inquires made by NT WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of NT WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. NT WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up-to-date and does not accept any liability for the information in this report or as to its use.