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All the latest in mine health and safety in NSW
Weekly incident summary - week ending 11 November 2022
52 reportable incidents, 9 summarised below
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043440 
Underground coal
Summary: A worker was welding plates in the bottom of a refuse hopper when a backhoe operator pushed material into the hopper from above. Small rocks fell on the worker inside the hopper, ricocheting off the walls but not injuring the worker. Neither worker knew the other was working in the area. The workers in the hopper had closed the boom gates on the entrance to the hopper area, however the backhoe entered the area from the exit road.
Recommendations to industry: Mine operators must identify all isolation points to control energy sources or access when planning tasks, particularly for those tasks when workers are required to access restricted spaces. Operators should also review the communication requirements between work crews who are working in the same area, or that may have an impact on others. 
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043435 
Open cut coal mine
Roads or other vehicle operating areas
Summary: An articulate dump truck was hauling material to a waste dump. While travelling around a corner, the trailer rolled over. The cabin remained upright and the driver was uninjured. 
Recommendations to industry: Roll over is a well-known hazard when operating articulated dump trucks. Workers must drive at speeds suitable for the type of vehicle they are operating. When cornering, adequate clearance between the truck and obstacles such as windrows and stockpiles must be maintained.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043429 
Open cut coal mine
Summary: An excavator operator was tramming a 30 tonne excavator from a road construction area to a borehole drill pad when the top of the excavator boom made contact with 11kV overhead power lines. The operator remained in the machine until the area was deemed safe.
Recommendations to industry: Overhead powerlines are a known risk on mine sites.
Refer to:
Safety Alert SA20-08 Drill rig contacts 22kV power line
Safety Bulletin SB15-05 Plant contacting overhead powerlines and structures
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043419 
Open cut coal mine
Summary: A haul truck collided with the support leg of a reject bin. The truck was approaching the bin at slow speed and was not correctly aligned to the bin. 
Recommendations to industry: When mobile plant is required to work in tight operating areas, barriers and guides should be used to assist workers to align their plant correctly to avoid colliding with structures and fixed plant.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043413 
Underground metal mine
Ground or strata failure
Summary: A loader was backfilling a stope when fill slumped, causing the loader to slump down on rill at stope edge. The operator escaped without injury.
Recommendations to industry: When tipping into stopes, the stope edge should be clearly demarcated and easily visible to the loader operator. Inspections of the stope should be conducted regularly for water ingress and fines accumulation.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043412 
Open cut coal mine
Summary: A work crew was installing the final drive to a haul truck. The workers were using a powered hoist and trolley to position the final drive. On the sixth attempt at aligning the drive to the axle, the trolley was stopped and the jerking motion caused the final drive to rock forward, snapping the single retention chain. The final drive then fell from the trolley. An investigation identified the unit was intended to have 2 retention chains fitted and the workers had not been supplied with the manual for the trolley hoist.
Recommendations to industry: When equipment is introduced to site, it should be inspected to confirm that any required risk control measures are fitted and available to workers. Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2022 Section 107 Duty to provide information, training and instruction requires mines to provide workers with appropriate information and training relevant to the task being conducted. 
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043399 
Open cut coal mine
Summary: While removing a counterweight from a dozer, a worker suffered a laceration to the ear. The worker was using a crowbar to assist in removing a pin when the counterweight moved unexpectedly and the crowbar flung up, hitting his ear. The work crew was not supplied with the mass of the counterweight and had not adequately supported the counterweight.  
Recommendations to industry: An investigation is underway and further information may be released in the future. When planning tasks, workers must be supplied with relevant information, such as component weights and task procedures, to safely conduct the task.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043390 
Construction materials
Fire or explosion
Summary: A worker in a quarry was driving an articulated dump truck when the operator noticed smoke coming from the engine bay. The worker stopped and opened the engine bay and it burst into flames. He activated the onboard fire suppression, but this failed to extinguish the fire. The local fire brigade sent several units to respond to the fire. The engine bay and cabin were destroyed. There were no injuries. Due to the extent of the damage, a cause has not been identified.
Recommendations to industry: This incident should remind all mine operators of the consequence of fires on mobile plant.
Mobile plant should be routinely inspected for flammable fluid leaks, damage to components and accumulation of flammable material.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043383 
Open cut coal mine
Ground or strata failure
Summary: A dozer operator noticed minor cracking on a dump and notified their supervisor. The supervisor inspected the area and believed the cracks were associated with reject management at the front of the dump and only affected the current lift (7 m high). A hard barrier was established behind the area and the dozer operator was tasked with cutting down the dump. Later in the shift, the dozer operator noticed movement on the dump and began to reverse. The section of the dump the dozer was on slumped about 10 metres. The dozer was unable to exit the dump. The operator raised the emergency. A second dozer cut an access path for the first dozer to safely exit the area.
Recommendations to industry: When a hazard is identified, workers must not be placed at risk to remediate the hazard. The integrity of waste material and impacts on the mine design must be considered when dumping reject material in the mine.

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
Fatality
A Cemex Knoxville employee was killed after a coal pile collapsed in a tragic industrial accident. Police said officers responded to the Cemex plant on Cement Plant Road around 7.45am on 5 November after employees found a body underneath a large pile of coal. Police said it took several hours for Knoxville Fire Department crews to excavate and recover the man's body.

Details
National (other, non-fatal)

Publication: Resources Health & Safety Queensland

A pallet of Class 1 explosives fell about 1.2 m from the rear of a delivery vehicle while being unloaded at a mine site. The operator lost control of the pallet jack while manoeuvring a heavy pallet of detonating cord towards the rear of the vehicle for unloading. The pallet jack rolled under the weight of the pallet off the rear of the vehicle. Work in the area ceased immediately and an exclusion zone established while the material was safely recovered. Class 1 explosives are impact sensitive and the impact of a fall could cause unplanned detonation or damage to the explosives.

Details

Publication: Safework SA
A new safety information sheet has been developed for the South Australian construction industry to minimise the risks associated with mobile plant in the workplace. The South Australian Construction Safety Alliance (SACSA) has developed a safety essentials flyer with support from SafeWork SA containing information to minimise risks associated with mobile plant in the workplace that will be shared and posted at their members worksites. While this initiative is targeted primarily at the construction industry, working with or around mobile plant is a potential risk at any workplace with mobile plant.

Details
ISR22-45 | Go to website
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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: resourcesregulator.nsw.gov.au

*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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