• Ellis Gelios

Man dies in water tank incident in southern Victoria

A 79-year-old man delivering a 600-kilogram polyethylene water tank died on Thursday, WorkSafe Victoria advised on Friday.

The man set out to make the delivery to a property in Barwon Downs, located in the foothills of the Otway Ranges southwest of Melbourne.

It is believed the man, who was assisting with emptying the 31,700 litre tank, succumbed to injuries after the tank fell from a truck.

The tragic incident escalated to 61 the total number of fatal workplace incidents in Victoria during 2021.

WorkSafe Victoria has commenced an investigation into the incident.

Alarm bells into the safe management of water tanks in Australia were raised in 2018 when a water tank failure resulted in a catastrophically dangerous situation on a mining site in Western Australia.

The incident elevated awareness of the structural integrity of water tanks and it was only by sheer fortune that no employees happened to be on the site at the time of the incident, which could have resulted in numerous fatalities.

The 2018 incident was caused by a 600,000 litre raw water tank failing, damaging a large area of the mine and critical infrastructure.