Weekly incident summary

8 March 2019 | ISR19-09 | Go to website
To report an incident call 1300 814 609 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Week ending 1 March 2019
High level summary of emerging trends and our recommendations to operators.

Reportable incidents total: 45
Summarised incidents: 4

This incident summary provides information on reportable incidents and safety advice for the NSW mining industry.

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0034018

SummaryWhile in the process of reterminating a 1000V outgoing (de-energised) supply cable at a pump starter box, an apprentice electrician has removed the shroud from the live side of the electrical isolator and inserted a T-handle tool to loosen bolts. The apprentice suffered an electric shock. The electrician then pulled the apprentice away and also suffered an electric shock.
Recommendations to industry: Effective supervision of apprentices in the workplace is essential. Isolation points must be determined to sufficiently remove people from energy sources. A S195 prohibition notice and a S191 improvement notice was issued to the mine in relation to this incident.

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0033965

SummaryAn electrician suffered an electric shock when working in a junction box. The circuit being worked on was isolated, but another circuit was still energised and the worker contacted the energised conductor.. 
Recommendations to industry: Before starting work, all potential energy sources must be identified and verified that they have been isolated and tested for dead. 

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0033953

SummaryA fire occurred on a haul truck in an underground metalliferous mine. A bearing collapsed on the drive train and grease was ignited. No other damage was reported. The manufacturer had previously issued a safety bulletin for upgrades to this bearing.

Recommendations to industry: Introduction to site procedures should include checks to verify that all original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) technical bulletins have been assessed for compliance before starting work. SB18-14 Preventing fires on mobile plant – responding to safety alerts should be reviewed and confirmed that recommendations have been assessed. The number of reported fires on mobile plant in the metalliferous sector remains too high, consequently the NSW Resources Regulator is undertaking a priority project in relation to fires on mobile plant in this sector, focusing on maintenance and equipment repair practices.

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0033952

Summary:  A worker suffered friction burns to his face when hit with high pressure fluid that was released. The worker was engaged to complete a bulk changeout of roof support leg cylinder yield valves. The worker isolated the maingate side leg cylinder, went to retrieve the new yield valve and returned to change the tailgate side leg cylinder. The worker was cleared of a fluid injection injury, however suffered a friction burn to the side of his face from the stream of fluid.

Recommendations to industry: An investigation by the NSW Resources Regulator is ongoing. Systems to dissipate and verify energy must be installed, easily located and used by all workers.

Other publications of note

These incidents are included for your review. The NSW Resources Regulator does not endorse the findings or recommendations of these incidents. It is your legal duty to exercise due diligence to ensure the business complies with its work health and safety obligations.

INTERNATIONAL (other, non-fatal)

Publication: MinEx NZ
Aggregate dredger confined space - near miss
While a UK marine aggregate dredger was undergoing maintenance in a UK ship repair yard, contractors were tasked with chipping the decks in the port upper void. This space is classed as a confined space.
The task involved using a power scarifier to clear paint and rust from steel surfaces. The tank was gas free and certificated before work commenced with a yard entry certificate running for 24 hours. Initially the contractors used an electric 110v scarifier unit, but as they moved along the voids, they encountered power drop issues on the electric unit with the length of power leads used. The contractors changed from the electric motor unit to a petrol engine unit and continued working throughout the day.
On leaving the site, they reported feeling dizzy and unwell and visited the hospital. They were found to have high carbon monoxide blood readings and were placed on oxygen for two hours before being discharged. The carbon monoxide was created from the exhaust of using a petrol machine in an enclosed space. 

Publication: Hastings Deering CAT in MinEx NZ
Potential failure of large motor grader front wheel spindles
Fractures have occurred in front wheel spindles on large motor graders used in mining applications. If a front wheel spindle fractures, the front wheel assembly may separate from the machine resulting in loss of control by the operator.

Publication: MinEx NZ
High potential near miss - Excavator arm contacts 11V OPL
A 23-tonne excavator was being used to lift and move a concrete box culvert. While moving it to the installation location, it was manoeuvring under 11kV overhead power lines. The excavator arm made contact with one of the lines. This caused a fault on the power network that affected some neighbouring properties. 
The excavator operator and the spotter were unaware at the time that the arm had contacted the line. 

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You can find all our guidance and incident related publications (that is, safety alerts, safety bulletins, incident information releases, weekly incident summaries and investigation reports) on our website:

*While the majority of incidents are reported and recorded within a week of the event, some are notified outside this time period. The incidents in this report therefore have not necessarily occurred in a one week period. All newly recorded incidents, whatever the incident date, are reviewed by the Chief Inspector and senior staff each week and summarised in this report. For more comprehensive statistical data refer to our Annual Performance Measures Reports.
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