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Weekly incident summary
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Weekly incident summary - week ending 18 March 2022
41 reportable incidents, 4 summarised below

Dangerous incident | IncNot0041814

Underground coal
Summary: A worker was struck on the hand with pressurised material that was ejected when a non-return valve was removed from a poly pump-out line. The worker assumed the line was depressurised because the pumps were off and the drain valves on the line were open. However, a material blockage had caused a volume of air to be captured in the line, resulting in coal fines being ejected under high pressure when the line was separated.
Comments to industry: Relief valves should be installed at inspection points in reticulation systems to dissipate pressure. Mine operators should review how workers and supervisors are trained to recognise the potential hazards associated with trapped pressure.

Dangerous incident | IncNot0041856

Underground metals
Fire or explosion
Summary: A spray rig was being trammed up the decline when it stopped to allow traffic to pass. The operator exited the rig and noticed smoke coming from the offside near the exhaust. The operator extinguished the fire using a hand-held fire extinguisher.
Comments to industry: Hose management and protection is critical in preventing fires on mobile plant. Rubbing hoses are a well-known cause. Mine operators must have a system in place to identify defects and poor hose standards, assess the criticality and put controls in place to prevent a fire. MDG15 Guideline for mobile and transportable plant for use at mines (other than underground coal mines) and AS 5062 Fire protection for mobile and transportable equipment provide guidance for mines. 
For more resources, refer to our webpage: Fires on mobile plant safety

Dangerous incident | IncNot004851

Underground metals
Summary:  A compressor supplying instrument air tripped, causing the level control valves on the rougher cells to fully open. This allowed a cyanide solution to drain into a catchment bund. This initial bund filled and overflowed into a secondary diversion bund.
No personnel were present in the area. The solution was recovered and the area was cleaned.
Comments to industry: When a system fails, it must fail to a safe state. The impact of a system failure on the equipment and environment must be assessed to confirm no other hazards are created.  Formal processes such as a hazard and operability analysis (HAZOP) are available to facilitate this style of assessment.

Dangerous incident | IncNot0041812

Underground coal
Fire or explosion
Summary: A longwall crew smelled smoke while underground. A 150 mm flame was discovered on the centre roller of a carry set above the loop take-up. The fire was immediately extinguished using a hose. The conveyor was inspected earlier in the shift and no defects were identified in the area.
Comments to industry: Mine operators must have a system to identify and change-out defective conveyor rollers. Workers conducting conveyor inspections must be aware of the increased risk of roller failure at high tension areas of conveyors.

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 (other, non-fatal)

Engineers & Geoscientists British Colombia

Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, the regulatory and licensing body for the professions of engineering and geoscience in BC, has concluded its disciplinary proceedings against three individuals in relation to their work at the Mount Polley Mine. The multi-year investigations were initiated following the breach of the mine's tailings storage facility on August 4, 2014. Three current and former engineers involved at the Mount Polley Mine Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) face a range of penalties arising from the disciplinary proceedings. 
In the course of these disciplinary proceedings, Engineers and Geoscientists BC did not make allegations or findings as to the cause of the embankment failure. That matter was separately addressed in reports of the Mount Polley Independent Expert Engineering Investigation and Review Panel and the Chief Inspector of Mines.

National (other, non-fatal)
Resources Safety & Health Queensland

On 10 March 2022, a severe weather event occurred in the regional areas of Moranbah. Records have identified that between 4pm and 8pm, 852 cloud to ground lightning strikes occurred in the region. Lightning is believed to have struck one or more of three goaf gas blower skids, igniting the gas on one of them.
The gas burned at the top of the evasee for an unknown period of time before being discovered by a seam gas operator who applied an emergency shutdown of the plant. The three goaf gas blower skids were in close proximity to each other and were operating on a sealed goaf at the time of the incident. The plant was running high purity of 100% methane and nil oxygen. 
A mine evacuation was ordered, and the plant scene was secured.
ISR22-11 | Go to the website


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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