Weekly incident summary

6 December 2019  | ISR19-47 | Go to website
To report an incident call 1300 814 609 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Week ending Friday 29 November 2019
High level summary of emerging trends and our recommendations to operators.

Reportable incidents: 38
Summarised incidents: 5

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

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036124


A fire occurred underground on a loaded agitator truck that was travelling down the decline in the mine. The operator reported seeing flames in the area of the rear brakes. The operator parked the machine and put out the fire using a hand held extinguisher. The fire suppression system did not activate as the fire was at the rear axle area, away from the engine bay and fire detection system.

The agitator had been pre-use inspected and had recently had a 500-hour service.

The root cause of the incident is under further investigation by the mine. 

Recommendations to industry: 

Mines must have a robust system of recommissioning equipment following maintenance, including removing residual rubbish, lubricants and tools.

Operators must be reminded of the risks associated with the over use of the service brakes in relation to fires and heat generation in the brake units.

Fires in underground mines are a major risk to workers. Mine operators should review the recently published position paper Preventing fires on mobile plant (October 2019).

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036153


While checking the chain tension on the AFC, at the tail gate of a longwall, a hose to the Porta-power burst. A fitter, who was approximately 30 centimetres away, was hit on the left wrist and hand through his overalls and cut 2 rated gloves.

The mine adds a fluorescent dye to hydraulic oil. When exposed to blue light, the dye glows, indicating the presence of oil. The blue light was used to confirm a fluid injection injury and the worker was transported to hospital. During surgery, the blue light was also used to minimise the extent of the surgery.

The Porta-power had previously been damaged.

Recommendations to industry: 

All portable tools should be subject to pre-use inspections and used by trained competent persons.

Workers are to be instructed not to use equipment that has been damaged or that could affect safety.

Workers should be reminded to position themselves out of the line of fire when completing tasks that involve high pressures.

We have published the following safety alerts, bulletins and guides on this topic:

SB13-01 Fluid injections result in surgery

SB12-03 Fluid power isolation failures

SA06-16 Fatal high-pressure hydraulic injection

SA09-04 Hydraulic injection near miss


MDG-40 Guideline for hazardous energy control

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036159


A fall of ground in the goaf of an underground coal mine caused a wind blast event. No one was injured however, minor damaged occurred to a stopping and the tail gate double doors were blown open, resulting in short circuiting the ventilation. This increased the time to clear the dust from the windblast, exposing workers to a reduced visibility environment.

The mine was operating under a wind blast TARP at the time.

Recommendations to industry:

All underground mines that complete secondary extraction must consider the risk of windblast as part of the ground or strata failure PHMP.

Operating TARP’s should be in place depending on the amount of roof holding up and the potential for windblast especially prior to initial goaf formation.

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036161

SummaryA fully laden dump truck, coming down a ramp, lost control and drifted. The driver turned towards the middle of the road to regain control, where a water truck, which was travelling in the opposite direction, came to a halt. There was no collision or injuries.

Following the incident an inspector attended and identified speed as a major contributing factor.

The start of shift safety briefing topic the day before was ramp speed and a maximum speed of 40kph.

The haul truck had a crest speed of 57kph and it was found that all trucks were travelling at similar speeds.

Recommendations to industry:

The incident is still under investigation.

Mine site speed limits must be enforced and should consider use of smart technologies that notify operators and supervisors when speed limits are exceeded.

Supervisors and managers continually accepting non-compliances to site rules contribute to mineworkers breaching safe systems of work and putting themselves and others at risk.

Speed limits of trucks are in place for a reason and must be complied with.

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036165


An electrical contractor, working within the roof space of a bathhouse, was drilling a hole when the back of his hand contacted an adjacent cable tray causing an electric shock. He was taken to hospital for an ECG.

On investigation a 30mA RCD protecting an air conditioner circuit had tripped and the cable supplying the air conditioning unit had damaged outer insulation.
Recommendations to industry:

When working in confined areas like roof spaces where electricity is present, an engineering risk assessment must be completed and all energy sources need to be identified and appropriate isolation controls implemented.

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 alert

On 5 November 2019, a mobile maintenance mechanic was driving on the pit haulage road when the service truck he was operating left the road, hit a berm, and flipped onto its side, ejecting the miner. The mechanic died at the scene. 


Publication: MSHA
Mine fatality alert

On 16 November 2019, a contractor spotting for a dump truck stepped directly into the path of a bulldozer. The contractor died at the scene.

International (other non-fatal)
Publication: MinEx NZ
Worker falls from conveyor frame
A worker slipped from a conveyor frame while performing a screen change and fell approximately 2 metres, contacting guarding and a steel frame (used for hanging hoses) during the fall. The worker sustained a fractured rib and bruising.

Publication: MinEx NZ
Dangerous access to crusher
A labor-hire worker was trying to shut the bin door over a crusher from the walkway. He had trouble and called for help from the contract engineer via the RT. The contract engineer climbed over the handrail and stood on the brackets supporting the chute and straddled the chute to access the lever to close the bin door. The crusher was operating at the time.
National (fatal)
Publication: NT WorkSafe
Securely restrain excavator buckets and attachments before transporting
In April 2019, a 30-year-old worker was fatally injured while loading an excavator onto a float in the yard of a hire company. At the time of the incident, the excavator was fitted with a batter bucket carrying two smaller buckets and a single tine ripper. The attachments were not secured before the excavator was maneuvered onto the float for transportation. 
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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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