Weekly incident summary

13 September 2019  | ISR19-35 | Go to website
To report an incident call 1300 814 609 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Week ending Friday 6 September 2019
High level summary of emerging trends and our recommendations to operators.

Reportable incidents: 15
Summarised incidents: 3

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

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0035455

SummaryAn electrician was going to a transformer following an overload trip on a supply circuit breaker to a DCB in a development panel when he smelled smoke. The miner had previously tripped on overload multiple times and on this occasion tripped back to the transformer. It appears there was arcing on the circuit breaker, which led to a fire. An electrician used a fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire.

Recommendations to industry: Mine operators should review load flows and protection studies when the operating conditions change, resulting in changes to equipment loadings.
Mine operators must review the service life of all circuit breakers considering the operating conditions and clearance of fault conditions. 

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0035463

SummaryA dump truck reversed into a dozer on a tip head. No injuries were reported and only minor damage was reported. The truck had a broken reversing mirror. The dozer was moving at the time.

Recommendations to industry: Mine operators must consider the appropriateness of proximity detection systems to prevent machine interactions. Mine operators should periodically review and retrain workers about understanding positive communication between operators using large equipment. Equipment defects must be reported and systems should be put in place to stand equipment down if it is unsafe to use.

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0035466

SummaryA large surface diesel fuel tank float level switch failed and during fault finding to investigate the issue, an electrician removed the level switch cover without isolating.  The worker reported suffering an electric shock. 

Recommendations to industry: Workers should always verify their isolation by dissipating the energy and testing for dead before starting a task. Mine work authorisation systems should include details of the isolation requirements and provide the required information to allow tasks to be carried out safely.

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 report (final)
A 25-year-old plant operator, with 21 weeks of experience, drowned on 29 December 2018 at 7.59pm after the suction dredge he was operating sank in an impoundment pond.

Publication: MSHA
Mine fatality (alert)
On 15 August 2019, a 44-year-old contract electrician, with 10 weeks of mining experience, was electrocuted when he made contact with 120V cable, while working inside a fire suppression system’s electrical panel.
International (other, non-fatal)
Publication: MSHA
Serious accident alert
On 3 June 2019, a railcar exploded when incompatible materials stored inside the car reacted violently. Approximately 775,000 litres of liquid waste-derived fuel (obtained from hazardous waste) ejected from the railcar for 34 seconds. The eruption sent waste fuel into the air and ripped the manway hatch from the railcar. The hatch came to rest about 340 metres from the railcar. Droplets of the fuel landed on a number of buildings, structures and vehicles near the facility. Agitators in several of the fuel tanks were not maintained in functional condition. The facility was blending and storing incoming loads of fuel in railcars. A system of analysis was not in place to ensure compatibility of the blended fuel under the conditions it was stored in.
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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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