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All the latest in mine health and safety in NSW
Weekly incident summary - week ending 25 November 2022
53 reportable incidents, 7 summarised below
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043556
Open cut coal  mine
Summary: A blast was fired near the boundary adjacent to another mine. After the blast, it became apparent that several workers were within the blast exclusion zone in the adjacent mine. The workers were 430 metres from the blast, no fly rock was observed.
Recommendations to industry: Blast exclusion zones must be managed and confirmed clear before blasting operations. When the blasting exclusion zone extends beyond and overlaps the mine boundaries, additional controls and systems must be put in place to ensure these areas are cleared and no people are at risk.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043551 
Open cut coal mine
Roads or other vehicle operating areas
Summary: While a boilermaker was repairing the bucket of a large excavator, a light vehicle slowly rolled from its parked location. The vehicle narrowly missed the boilermaker as it rolled. The vehicle was parked for some time before the incident occurred.
Recommendations to industry: When setting up work areas, vehicle park-up areas should be located where vehicles can be parked fundamentally stable and clear of work areas. All workers should confirm their vehicles are parked fundamentally stable before leaving the vehicle. Vehicle operators should daily check the function and operation of braking systems.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043547 
Underground coal mine
Roads or other vehicle operating areas
Summary: A road-registered water cart moved to the edge of the road and hit a soft section, slowly rolling onto the side. The driver was not injured.
Recommendations to industry: When operating plant and equipment, workers must remain situationally aware of the environment in which they are operating. Mine operators should assess and demarcate any areas alongside roads and vehicle operating areas where conditions may pose hazards to vehicle operations such as soft edges.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043532 
Construction materials
Summary: A worker was using a skid steer loader to unload bulk bags of hydrated lime. One of the bags had torn near the top of the bag. As it was unloaded, wind blew lime into the worker’s face. After trying to flush their eyes with water, the worker was treated at hospital.
Recommendations to industry: When implementing controls for worker exposure when handling lime, higher order controls must be considered first. Dust containment and enclosed machinery cabs fitted with filtration should be considered before administrative and personal protection equipment (PPE) controls are implemented. A safety data sheet should be the basis for determining PPE requirements.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043531 
Underground coal mine
Fire or explosion
Summary: An underground coal mine was restoring power following a disturbance on the incoming supply. The supply was restored to an underground distribution board and all 4 outlets had been powered for several minutes. A hissing sound lasted for 5-10 seconds. An arc fault then occurred. The arc front propagated from the enclosure to the PLC cabinet and then external to the enclosure. The surface substation tripped. Four nearby workers suffered discomfort and ringing in the ears, several reported a blocked ear sensation.
Recommendations to industry: High voltage electrical plant has a high risk of causing fires and explosions and must maintained fit-for-purpose throughout its life cycle. Mine operators should identify areas within high voltage enclosure that are susceptible to Quora and high voltage stress. Maintenance schedules and stress relief measures should be documented and implemented. Explosion vents on high voltage enclosures should be checked that they are suitably located and will direct any internal explosion away from workers and are appropriately sized to prevent defamation of the switch board in the event of an internal electrical explosion.
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043521 
Open cut coal mine
Roads or other vehicle operating areas
Summary: An articulated truck was being used as part of rehabilitation works hauling topsoil. While unloading on a grade, the cab rolled and the tub stayed upright. The operator was uninjured but required assistance to exit the cab.
Recommendations to industry: Operating areas need to be assessed as suitable for the type of vehicle hauling the material. When dumping on grades or transitions between grades, the grade and machine capabilities must be compared to ensure that operations remain within the allowable operating parameters of the machine. 
Dangerous incident | IncNot0043508 
Underground metalliferous mine
Fire or explosion
Summary: A load haul dump (LHD) was tele-remote bogging. An operator entered the cab to resume manual operation. The operator noticed a burnt electrical smell but did not notice any damage. The LHD was taken to the workshop where further inspections identified damage. Video footage was reviewed, and the reflection of flames could be seen in the cab.
Recommendations to industry: When plant and equipment is operated autonomously or via tele-remote, additional controls to manage the detection and activation of fire suppression systems are to be implemented. During the 2021/2022 financial year, only 13% of fires reported were extinguished by automatic deployment of the fire suppression system.

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

On 1 October 2022, a miner died while using a crane to remove a haul truck engine.  The auxiliary line broke, causing the hook and ball assembly to fall and strike the miner.
Details


National (other, non-fatal)

Publication: Resources Safety & Health Queensland
As summer approaches, Queensland coal mines have already started to experience hot weather conditions. People with safety and health obligations must ensure that exposures to heat are being effectively managed to an acceptable level of risk at their mine sites. The mine's safety health management system (SHSMS) must incorporate processes to recognise and effectively manage heat exposure and to protect coal mine workers (CMW) from heat-related illness.
Details
ISR22-47 | 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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