All the latest in mine health and safety in NSW
Weekly incident summary
To report an incident or injury call 1300814609
Weekly incident summary - week ending 30 September 2022
29 reportable incidents, 4 summarised below

Important Mine Safety Update

The NSW Government is proposing safety measures that will strengthen the current regulation of ammonium nitrate storage. The measures would provide additional protections for workers and communities near ammonium nitrate storage facilities.

Give your feedback on:

  • mandatory separation distances for the storage of ammonium nitrate
  • suitable timeframes for ammonium nitrate storage facilities to implement the separation distances
  • potential community and industry benefits and disadvantages of the proposed changes.

This discussion paper has more details.

You can have your say by taking the quick poll, completing a survey, uploading a submission, or any combination of these, via the ammonium nitrate safety Have Your Say page

This public consultation is open until 5.00 pm on Thursday, 3 November 2022

Dangerous incident | IncNot0043099

Underground coal
Ground or strata
Summary: An outburst occurred during remote mining that resulted in approximately eight tonnes of coal being ejected from the development face. Power was tripped to the continuous miner due to the face gas levels however the ventilation system was not overwhelmed with gas monitors in the return peaking at CO2 1.2% and CH4 1.37%. The cause of the outburst is the presence of a 100mm strike-slip fault (containing up to 50mm mylonite and calcite) which reduced the effectiveness of gas drainage.
Comments to industry: This incident is a reminder of the danger posed by outbursts and the necessity of having appropriate controls in place to protect workers, including remote mining practices, exclusion zones and sound ventilation practices. The implementation of these controls should not replace effective gas drainage in normal circumstances. 

Dangerous incident | IncNot0043103

Underground coal
Summary: A worker sustained a laceration to his leg from a flailing water hose while setting up water supply to a continuous miner. 3 workers were in the process of removing a ball valve tap in order to join 2 bull hoses. After checking that the line was isolated 2 workers held the hose while another attempted to flush the line by opening the ball valve. When the valve was opened the pressure has whipped the hose out of the workers hands allowing it to flail around. 
Comments to industry: Mine operators should consider including fixed drainage points to prevent workers from releasing stored pressure from loose hoses. Consider using gate valves in place of ball valves to better control the release of energy. Workers are reminded of the risks involved in whipping hoses.

Dangerous incident | IncNot0043119

Open cut coal mine
Summary: During pressure checks on a refurbished steering accumulator on a haul truck, the centre accumulator failed. The piston and cap were ejected under pressure and mounts were damaged. The cap was found 3 m from the truck while the cylinder piston was found 20 m from the truck. Nobody was injured.
Comments to industry: This incident is under investigation to determine the root cause and further information may be published later. This incident highlights the importance of considering component failure and having no-go zones in place when commissioning hydraulic systems.

Dangerous incident | IncNot0043131

Summary: While loading a dump truck from a silo, the driver noticed there was material coming out of the silo near the top of the cone. The driver closed the clam shells and drove out from under the bin. In order to open the clam shells to empty the bin, the truck driver positioned the truck to the bin to have access to the clam shell controls from the truck's platform. The driver then opened the clam shell slightly. As the truck driver returned to the cabin and started to reverse, the silo failed and material rilled over the front of the truck smashing its windscreen. The operator was uninjured
Comments to industry: This incident is under investigation to determine the root cause and further information may be published later. Mine operators should review the adequacy of their structural integrity audits and ensure that remedial actions that have been identified as being required during such audits, are carried out in a timely manner.

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.

Interational (fatal)
US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

On August 17, 2022, a general inside laborer died when he was caught between a supply car and its coupler.  The victim was sitting on the supply car which was coupled to a locomotive parked in a track spur.  The locomotive was struck by another locomotive pulling three loaded cars into the mine.  The impact knocked the victim off the supply car, killing him.
Read more
Interational (fatal)
US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
On August 23, 2022, a contract mechanic received fatal injuries while performing maintenance on the bucket (dipper) of an electric rope shovel.  A plastic block, used to prop open the dipper door, dislodged causing the dipper door to close and pin the victim against the back edge of the dipper.

Interational (fatal)
US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
Wooten Sand - On 4 August 2022, a mine manager died while performing maintenance on a bulldozer. While kneeling on the bulldozer's track, the victim accidentally engaged the lever that put the bulldozer in reverse. The bulldozer track moved the victim to the rear of the bulldozer where he was run over. Operators should train miners on safe maintenance procedures such as turning off the engine and blocking equipment against motion.

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

Operations were recently suspended at an underground coal mine in Queensland upon discovery that the mine was not compliant with legislation relating to the required number of certified Emergency Response Team (ERT) members available to respond to a potential emergency situation. Coal mine operators and Site Senior Executives (SSEs) should be aware that any future breaches of legislative requirements will result in the Inspectorate taking immediate compliance action.

Read more
National (other, non-fatal)
Government of Western Australia

Dampier Salt Limited was today fined $20,000 and ordered to pay $6,283 in costs after a worker's head and neck became trapped while working at height at the company's Port Hedland salt operations. In July 2018, two contractors were using an elevating work platform (EWP) to inspect the underside of a large salt stacker. A third man was working at ground level as the leading hand and spotter. One of the men inadvertently raised the EWP which caused his head and neck to become caught between the platform's control panel and the salt stacker. The injured contractor temporarily lost consciousness and was taken by ambulance to the Hedland Health Campus. He was discharged later that day. While the workers completed a Job Hazard Analysis and a Critical Control Checklist before starting the job, neither report identified the crush hazard as an applicable risk. The company also failed to verify the workers' competency to operate the relevant make and model of EWP. This lack of familiarisation caused a delay in lowering the platform after the contractor lost consciousness. Dampier Salt pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court for failing to provide a safe working environment.

Read more
National (other, non-fatal)
Government of Western Australia

From 2018 to 2021, six serious incidents relating to air conditioning flushing canisters have been reported on mine sites in Western Australia. In five of these incidents, the flushing canister had been over-pressurised and subsequently ruptured. In all reported incidents, the involved flushing canisters were assumed to be in working order at the beginning of the task. Injuries from these events included lacerations to the lower arm and workers being hit by the canister and/or fragments.

Read more
ISR22-39 | 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.
Regional NSW, Resources Regulator
516 High St
Maitland, New South Wales 2320

Add us to your address book

Copyright © State of New South Wales through Regional NSW 2022
You are receiving this email because you subscribed to Mine Safety News through the NSW Resources Regulator website.
disclaimer | privacy | unsubscribe from this list | update your details