A WORKER who was trapped by a three-tonne machine in Delacombe yesterday is lucky to be alive, authorities say.
The 47-year-old Delacombe man was pinned face-down on the floor by a lathe machine after it fell over while being moved at Albins Off-Road Gear on Wiltshire Lane.
Emergency crews were first called just after 8.30am, after the handle of the machine pierced the man’s shoulder.
He was trapped for about an hour as paramedics treated him, while CFA rescue teams worked to free him from the machinery.
Ballarat City Fire Brigade senior station officer David Mounier said rescue crews first tried to dismantle the lathe while the man was still trapped, however it proved too difficult and dangerous.
Instead, they were forced to cut the handle off the machine, leaving the five-centimetre handle lodged in the man’s shoulder.
“He was pinned face-down, so it is very lucky the other components of the machine did not fall on his chest or anywhere else on his body,” Mr Mounier said.
“It really highlights the need to work safely in the workplace. Too often people say ‘it will be alright’, which is when things like this can happen.”
The man remains in Ballarat Base Hospital in a critical but stable condition.
WorkSafe Victoria chief executive Denise Cosgrove said November and December were usually the worst months for workplace accidents.
“We also know that many fatalities at this time of year involve experienced workers doing routine tasks, which suggests their minds may not be fully on the task at hand.
“Together it all adds up to a dangerous mix,” Ms Cosgrove said.
“When a worker doesn’t return home safe at the end of the day, it is a tragedy for all involved – families, friends, workmates, employers and the wider community. We want the festive season to be a happy time for everyone.”
Albins Off-Road Gear is a high-performance car part manufacturer, specialising in transmissions and gear boxes.