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Weekly incident summary
Weekly incident summary - week ending 17 January 2020
30 reportable incidents, 6 summarised below

Dangerous incident | Underground metalliferous mine|IncNot 0036465

SummaryA shotfirer loaded a shot and notified it was ready to be fired. A truck and a loader with their respective drivers were still in the exclusion zone. The shotfirer incorrectly thought both operators were together when the truck came out of the exclusion zone. He removed both of their tags and fired the shot. The loader operator was still within the exclusion zone. There were no injuries or damage. It was identified that the mine was relying on the contractor’s blasting procedures, however, the contractor’s procedures did not include the mine’s specific details. 

Recommendations to industry: Mine operators must have clear and effective blasting procedures that are specific to individual mines. They should also remind workers that personal tags are only to be removed by the person they are issued to.

Dangerous incident | Underground metalliferous mine|IncNot 0036464

SummaryA haul truck caught fire while travelling up a decline. The cause of the fire was an internal failure in a recently rebuilt engine. A mine investigation identified the tappet cover breather caps were modified from a metal cap that was held in place with a circlip, to a plastic cap held with silastic. This allowed the over-pressured engine oil to make contact with the hot engine. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is investigating the engine failure.

Recommendations to industry: When equipment modifications occur, mine operators must confirm that adequate change management processes are followed. This will ensure that any new risks are identified, and additional controls are implemented to reduce the risk to plant, equipment and workers. Engine breather caps should be checked and confirmed to be suitable, as specified by the OEM.

Dangerous incident Surface coal mine| IncNot 0036471

SummaryAn excavator was loading overburden. The first bucket was taken from an out-of-sequence location. When the excavator swung back to the face, it hit a dozer lift ram. The dozer was cleaning up the dig floor and the operator had assumed that the excavator would not return to the same location. The mine is implementing proximity awareness technology that is being commissioned.

Recommendations to industryMine operators should remind all equipment operators of the importance of positive communication across all parts of the mine site. Dozer operators should make positive communications with excavators before entering any excavator swing radius. Mine operators should consider proximity awareness technologies for high interaction areas.

Dangerous incident Underground metalliferous mine|IncNot 0036500

SummaryAn underground loader was in a draw point of an extraction drive. The operator saw smoke coming from the engine area. The operator shut down the loader. He inspected the engine bay and saw flames coming from the belly plate area. He activated the fire suppression system, which extinguished the fire. A mine investigation identified that the mine had made a modification to all its loaders to facilitate taking engine oil samples. The failed hose had been clamped in place and was not part of any scheduled service inspection. The OEM did not approve any modification.

Recommendations to industryWhen modifications take place, mine operators should challenge if the modifications are the best option. Consultation with the OEM is suggested when the modification is identified as a life of asset modification. Operators must confirm that adequate change management processes are followed to ensure any new risks are identified and additional controls are implemented. Any modifications to plant must be added to service schedules so that they are maintained throughout the life of the asset.

Serious injury | Underground coal mine | IncNot 0036504

SummaryDuring production on a longwall face, a roof support relay bar became disconnected from the tailgate drive frame because of the failure of the vertical connecting pin. A mechanical fitter was trying to realign the relay bar clevis by lifting the relay bar with a chain block. The security of the attachment point between the chain block and the relay bar was not verified because the hook was underwater. The relay bar was then operated by manual hydraulic control in order to realign the vertical pinhole. This caused an additional load on the chain block hook. The hook became disconnected from the relay bar and hit the mechanical fitter’s face. The fitter suffered lacerations and minor fractures to his right cheekbone. A mine investigation identified there were no safe work procedures (SWP) in place for this task.

Recommendations to industryMine operators should review their lifting equipment management plans to ensure all tasks using lifting equipment have appropriate SWPs developed for routine and none-routine tasks. Mine operators must provide adequate information, training and instructions to protect workers from risks while carrying out lifting tasks. When repairs and maintenance are being carried out, safe standing zones must be established to account for any failures.
ISR20-03 | Go to website

Other publications of interest

The 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
Crush injury while welding

A worker was welding on a grader blade turn circle that was not chocked adequately. The stand failed and the turn circle rotated downwards onto the concrete causing severe crush injuries to his feet.
National (other, non-fatal)
Publication: EWPA Australia
Interference effects using radio transmitters in MEWPS

The purpose of this information sheet is to inform operators and supervisors of the risk associated with using UHF radio transmitters in Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) and to provide guidance on the use of such devices.
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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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