Weekly incident summary

18 May 2018 | ISR18-19 | Go to website
To report an incident call 1300 814 609 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Week ending 16 May 2018

Reportable incidents total: 41
Summarised incidents: 12

Incidents of note for which operators should consider the comments provided and determine if action needs to be taken.

Serious injury | SinNot 2018/00747

SummaryA loader operator suffered three cracked ribs after falling 1.5 metres from a loader. He was standing on the top rung of the access ladder when he had a back spasm.

Recommendations to industry: Mine operators must ensure their health control plan includes control measures to ensure persons working at the mine are fit to carry out work without causing a risk to their own or others’ safety. 

Dangerous incident | SinNot 2018/00738

SummaryA continuous miner driver was hit in the back and knocked over by rib spall. He was found by another operator. Poor ribs had been identified but had not been barred down.

Recommendations to industry: When poor strata is identified, corrective actions should be taken in accordance with procedures and mine’s trigger action response plan (TARP) as soon as practical. Mine operators must ensure that workers are provided with adequate information training and instruction in relation to hazards associated with ground and strata failure. Mine operators should consider potential risks to unaccompanied workers operating remote control mining equipment.

Dangerous incident | SinNot 2018/00727

SummaryWhile delivering sand to a mine, a second trailer overturned during tipping. When approaching full height, the driver noticed the trailer leaning to the left and stopped tipping. The trailer continued to roll and overturned onto the ground.

Recommendations to industry: Suitable areas and procedures should be in place to allow safe tipping of material arriving on site. In identifying risk controls in these procedures, consideration should be given to cross grades, material build up and wind.

Serious injury | SinNot 2018/00719

SummaryA fitter degloved the tip of his finger. The fitter was in the process of removing a broken blow bar (about 100 kg) when it fell and jammed his finger. He was not wearing gloves.

Recommendations to industry: Job task planning should consider risks arising from how heavy items are handled. When assessing the handling of heavy items, workers should seek assistance or use of mechanical aids. Mines should have a system in place requiring supervisors to monitor personal protection equipment compliance, including gloves.

Dangerous incident | SinNot 2018/00716

SummaryAn electrician suffered several electric shocks when a second electrician carried out an insulation test on the cable they were working on. The electricians were at opposite ends of the cable and the electrician conducting the insulation test did not communicate his intended actions.

Recommendations to industry: A procedure should be in place for the use of electrical test equipment, including the exposure to workers. 
Clear communication is required between work parties and team members. The potential impact of the task on other workers should be considered in procedures and risk assessments.

Serious injury | SinNot 2018/00712

SummaryThe owner/operator of an opal mine suffered spinal injuries when he fell down a shaft. He was fixing a ladder to the shaft wall when it gave way and he fell 6 to 9 metres. Emergency services were required to extract the injured person, who was taken to hospital.

Recommendations to industry: Where a risk of falling is present, mine operators must minimise the risk of fall by providing adequate protection against the risk. Mine operators must have safe systems of work to protect workers from the risk of falls. Emergency response and recovery plans should form part of this system.

Serious injury | SinNot 2018/00701

SummaryA worker suffered serious head injuries when he was hit by an unsecured bracket that fell while decommissioning a crane. The bracket, weighing 50 kg, fell about 10 metres from the top of the mast section. The bracket glanced off the hard hat of the worker.

Recommendations to industry: Mine operators should have procedures in place to ensure lift plans and job safety procedures are correctly implemented throughout the duration of the task. Items that pose a risk to workers should be secured to prevent injuries.
When objects can fall, appropriate no-go zones should be established to protect workers from falling objects. No-go zones should be clearly communicated and delineated to all workers in the vicinity.

Dangerous incident | SinNot 2018/00740 / 2018/00736 / 2018/00730 / 2018/00726

SummaryMultiple mines have been notifying the regulator of ongoing spontaneous combustion incidents.

Recommendations to industry: All coal mine operators, including open cut mines, are reminded that the new Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014 clause 179 (h) requires ‘spontaneous combustion’ to be notified to the regulator.

Dangerous incident | SinNot 2018/00739

SummarySpontaneous combustion was developing at a mine site and reported to the regulator. Oxidised coal was put into the dump.

Recommendations to industry: Mines must have a principal hazard management plan for fire and explosion. For all coal mines this should incorporate a system for the identification, management and control of spontaneous combustion, where it has been identified the risk of spontaneous combustion potentially exists. Workers must be provided adequate information training and instruction in relation to this system.

Number of incident notifications, by commencement month and incident type​ 

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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 Annual Performance Measures Reports.
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