All the latest in mine health and safety in NSW
Weekly incident summary
Weekly incident summary - week ending 31 January 2020
24 reportable incidents, 5 summarised below

Dangerous incident | Underground metalliferous mine |IncNot 0036585

SummaryAn integrated tool carrier (IT) was being used by a charge-up crew when they noticed a flame on the right-hand side of the engine. The onboard fire suppression system was activated manually, which extinguished the fire. The IT was hosed down to extinguish smoldering cladding that was surrounding the exhaust system.
The mine’s initial investigation identified an overflow or leak in the coolant system that doused the exhaust lagging with coolant. The coolant containing glycol, or similar chemical, can be flammable when dried.

Recommendations to industry: Mine operators must ensure safe maintenance systems of plant. Pre-use inspections should be reviewed to ensure any leaking fluids are identified before the machines are operated.

For further information refer to the recently published position paper Preventing fires on mobile plant.

Dangerous incident | Surface coal mine|IncNot 0036586

SummaryA dozer was working next to the dragline when the driver smelled fumes. The operator pulled the dozer back and saw smoke coming from the engine compartment. The fire was extinguished using a hand-held fire extinguisher.

The mine’s initial observation identified that the hydraulic pilot filter came loose, which allowed oil mist to be drawn into the engine compartment and made contact with hot surfaces.

Recommendations to industry: Mine operators must ensure that stringent monitoring and quality control of maintenance and repair activities are undertaken to prevent fires on mobile plant.

Enough time and resourcing must also be allocated for maintenance and repair tasks.For further information read: Preventing fires on mobile plant. 

Dangerous incident |Surface coal mine|IncNot 0036629


A light vehicle operator drove off an open edge (inactive shovel face) and the vehicle fell about 14 metres. The driver had been conducting blast sentry clearance. A bund across the road leading to the inactive face had been opened-up to allow two drill rigs to tram from the blast area. The bund was not replaced, and no other barricade was put in place to prevent vehicle access to the area. The area had previously been a roadway before being excavated.

The vehicle landed nose first before coming to rest on its roof. The driver exited the vehicle and called the emergency response crew who stabilised the driver until the ambulance arrived. The driver was taken to hospital and cleared of any injuries.

Recommendations to industryThe incident is currently under investigation by the Major Investigation Unit. Information will be published shortly.

Dangerous incident Surface coal mine|IncNot 0036633

SummaryA slip in a 60 metre highwall resulted in about 2500 cubic metres (m3) of material falling to the ground. The dimensions were about 45 metres high with the maximum extent from the highwall toe of 10-15 metres. A catch windrow was in place under the highwall about 10 metres from the highwall toe. The slip was noticed early enough to remove all workers from the area before the material fell to the ground.

Recommendations to industryMine operators must have safe systems of work in place to inspect highwalls. These inspections must consider - weathering effects, ground water and conditions that affect the high wall stability. 
Following several incidents where people and equipment have been exposed to significant health and safety risks as a result of highwalls, low walls and dumps failing, the NSW Resources Regulator has published Safety Bulletin SB20-01 Failure of highwalls, low walls and dumps. Operators should take note of the recommendations in this bulletin.

Dangerous incident | Underground coal mine|IncNot 0036620

SummaryWhile towing a breaker feeder out of a mine (on a sled) using two load haul dump machines (LHDs), the breaker feeder became stuck on a corner. Workers repositioned slings to pull the feeder further away from the rib then reconfigured them for a straight tow. The lead LHD was parked with the motor running, park brake on and the foot brake applied. When the operator released the foot brake, the machine rolled backwards about 0.5 metres and was stopped by the operator reapplying the foot brake. No workers were at risk and the fault was repeatable.

Recommendations to industryWhen towing large equipment underground, the route should be planned to identify tight areas beforehand.
Safety critical systems such as braking and steering systems should be inspected, maintained and tested in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
ISR20-05 | Go to website

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 (other non-fatal)
Publication: MinEx NZ
Excavator falls on its side

While sorting material on a 1 metre high (approximately) pad, an excavator unbalanced and rolled onto its left side.
National (other non-fatal)
Publication: Worksafe QLD
Crane rope sheave failures - Safety Alert

The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risk of rope sheave failure on mobile cranes.
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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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