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Weekly incident summary
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Weekly incident summary - week ending 10 April 2020
32 reportable incidents, 5 summarised below

Dangerous incident | IncNot0037148

Open cut coal mine
Principal mining hazard: Roads or other vehicle operating areas
Summary: A dozer operator was cleaning up a bench floor at night when it  backed over some large rocks and rolled onto its side. The operator was not injured.  
Recommendations to industry: Following the investigation of several incidents in which tracked dozers overturned, the NSW Resources Regulator identified a range of contributing factors and published a safety bulletin. Recommendations on managing risks to dozer operators can be found in safety bulletin SB19-01 Rise in dozer incidents putting operators at risk

Dangerous incident | IncNot0037158

Open cut coal mine
Principal mining hazard: Roads or other vehicle operating areas
Summary: A dozer carrying out preparation work slid off a walk back and working bench near an excavator. The dozer operator appears to have misjudged the corner and driven off the edge. The dozer operator was not injured.
Recommendations to industry: Refer to the recommendations provided in the previous dozer rollover incident above.

Dangerous incident | IncNot0037154

Open cut coal mine
Principal mining hazard: Roads or other vehicle operating areas
Summary: A dump truck went through a windrow when backing into a corner of the dump. The ground failed, causing the truck to overturn. 
Recommendations to industry: Preliminary investigations suggest that the controls identified to manage the risks associated with using weathered material at the dump may not have been adequate and some of those controls were not implemented. While 10 metre lifts were planned for the dump, on the outside edge where the tip head failed, the rill face was approximately 20 metres high. Mines must have systems in place to ensure dumps are operated and maintained as per the original design with adequate TARPs in place if circumstances change. 

Dangerous incident | IncNot0037172

Underground metals mine
Principal mining hazard: Fire or explosion
Summary: A fire occurred underground at a metalliferous mine. All workers were evacuated and accounted for. No injuries were reported.
Recommendations to industry: A site assessment conducted by the Regulator confirmed that the fire occurred in a large pile of rubbish material, near an underground meal room. While the source of ignition has not been conclusively determined, a significant number of cigarette butts were present among the rubbish. The site has a no smoking policy.

Dangerous incident | IncNot0037185

Underground metals mine
Summary: A mill operator suffered an electric shock when opening a door at a surface crusher building. He made contact with the door’s proximity switch and suffered an electric shock to his left hand. A preliminary investigation suggests a diminished ingress protection (IP) rating of the proximity switch, together with the fact the area was wet, allowed the operator to be shocked when he touched the switch.
Recommendations to industry: Electrical equipment that has an IP rating is critical in wet areas and should be maintained as fit-for-purpose throughout its life cycle. 
Mines that have control voltages to field devices above extra low voltage (ELV) should review how they manage the risk of electric shock, including the modification of field control circuits to ELV.
ISR20-16 | Go to website

Other publications of interest

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 (fatal)
Publication: MSHA
Mine fatality

A miner was splitting and sorting rock in a quarry when lightning was observed in the distance. The miner was seeking shelter when he was struck by lightning.

Publication: MSHA
Safety alert
On 5 March 2020, an operator was using a Caterpillar D8T bulldozer on a coal surge pile near a load-out feeder location when the surge pile collapsed, engulfing the bulldozer and trapping the operator inside the cab. 
The operator was uninjured because the bulldozer was equipped with:
  • high-strength glass that prevented coal from entering the operator’s cab, and
  • two self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs) which provided the equipment operator, enough breathable air throughout the two-hour rescue effort. 
National (other, non-fatal)
Publication DNRME Qld

Frictional ignition events (underground coal)
An underground coal mine experienced two frictional ignition events on a longwall face. The events occurred about eight days apart, with both being extinguished successfully.
In both incidents the shearer was in the process of cutting through a geological structure (a down throw fault) on the longwall face. Additional controls introduced to manage the hazard after the first event proved inadequate to prevent a reoccurrence. A formal investigation by the mine’s inspectorate is being conducted.

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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 Safety Performance Measures Reports and our Business Activity Reports
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