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Weekly incident summary
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Weekly incident summary - week ending 27 May 2022
34 reportable incidents, 3 summarised below

Dangerous incident | IncNot0042247

Open cut coal mine
Roads or other vehicle operating areas
Summary: A dozer reversed into a haul truck when it was cleaning up on a loading bench. There were no injuries reported, however the truck received minor damage. 
Comments to industry: Where administrative controls such as positive communication can not be reliably implemented, mines must consider alternative controls such as segregation.

Dangerous incident | IncNot0042256

Open cut coal mine
Fire or explosion 
Summary: A haul truck had dumped a second load for a shift and was leaving the dump. The operator smelled something burning then saw flames around the back of the cabin. The operator shut down the truck and unsuccessfully attempted to deploy the fire suppression system. The operator then escaped safely. The fire was extinguished with the aid of a water cart and on-board fire suppression. Upon inspection, it was discovered that a significant mechanical failure resulted in a large hole in the bottom of the engine which initiated the fire. The truck was recently down for maintenance. A further examination of the truck found that the emergency ladder access gate was extremely stiff and not easily opened. The operator did not use this means of egress. 
Comments to industry: Following the maintenance and repair of mobile plant, the plant should be inspected, tested and verified as fit-for-purpose before being returned to service. Mine operators should also confirm that emergency access systems are included in routine maintenance inspections on all plant.

Dangerous incident | IncNot0042235

Open cut coal mine
Summary: As a haul truck was leaving a dump and travelling down a ramp, the operator applied the retarder, but it had no effect. The operator then tried the service brake, which also had no effect. The operator noticed there was no air pressure indicated. The operator then used the emergency brakes, which slowed the truck and safely negotiated a bend. The air pressure returned, and the brakes subsequently worked. The operator then continued to a digger but noticed the brakes were inoperable again, so proceeded to park up and report the incident. An investigation found an air conditioner compressor belt drive guard was rubbing on the discharge fitting of the compressor. The fitting failed, resulting in loss of system air pressure and loss of the service brakes.
Comments to industry: Under no circumstances should a truck continue to be operated following the failure of a safety-critical system such as braking. Vehicles should be safely parked-up following an incident and not operated until the cause is identified and problem rectified.

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)
NZ MinEx
A dozer was stripping topsoil and ceased operations so that the radiators and intercooler could be cleared out from accumulated dust. The operator was dismounting from the machine and opened the engine bay door. As the door was opened, he fell backwards and caught his leg on a foot plate before landing on his back on the ground. He sustained a serious laceration to the left calf muscle requiring admission to hospital and corrective surgery. Injuries were also sustained to his shoulder and ribs. MinEx data on incidents with the potential to cause harm over the four years to December 2021 shows 16% (728) of all incidents involve falls, with 307 incidents resulting from fall of a person.

National (other, non-fatal)
WorkSafe Victoria

Recently, in separate incidents, 2 people fell from ladders and were seriously injured when the ladders they were on failed without warning. Both of the ladders had plastic/polymer structural components that appeared to have UV (sun) damage/deterioration. Portable ladders are one of the least stable but most often used tools when working at heights. A ladder failure can result in a fall. Serious and fatal falls continue to happen where risk control measures are not in place or do not adequately control the risk of falls. While ladders are often the first choice when working at heights, they should only be used if safer options have been assessed first and are not reasonably practicable for the task. Safer options include long-handled tools, scaffolding or elevated work platforms (EWPs).

Resources Safety and Health Queensland
Several mines and quarries have recently reported incidents associated with slope instability and failures in ground integrity to the MMQ inspectorate. Groundwater has a detrimental effect on slope stability. An industry-wide awareness of the likelihood of slope instability due to current groundwater conditions is critical. Saturated conditions leading to standing water within the pit can result in unsafe working conditions. Given the current conditions, pit inspections should be conducted with diligence on a more frequent than usual basis. These inspections should be conducted by a competent person to ensure that geotechnical hazards are identified, and suitable controls implemented.
ISR22-21 | Go to the website


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*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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