All the latest in mine health and safety in NSW
Weekly incident summary
Weekly incident summary - week ending 28 February 2020
41 reportable incidents, 4 summarised below

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036795 

Coal processing plant
Principal hazard: Innundation or inrush of any substance
SummaryAn operator was responding to a blockage in a feeder under a coal loading bin. The operator cleared the blockage and normal feed resumed. Shortly after, wet material flowed out of the feeder chute and hit the operator in the chest, knocking him off his feet. The operator suffered bruising.
The plant was processing difficult material that needed the addition of water to keep it moving through the plant. This event was preceded by an upstream blockage in a sizer that was hosed out. 
Recommendations to industry: When developing the control measures to manage the risks of inundation or inrush of any substance, mines must consider:
  • failure or blocking the flow channels
  • the potential for the accumulation of water, gas or other substances, or materials that could liquefy or flow into other workings or locations.
In addition, mines should have a written procedure for the task of clearing a blocked chute and they should ensure workers adhere to the procedure.

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036801

Construction materials mine
Principal hazard:
Roads or other vehicle operating areas
SummaryA tipper truck hit overhead power lines while exiting a sand plant. The driver reported that he had lowered the body and that the body had raised again, by itself. The driver did not suffer an electric shock. 
Recommendations to industry
The reason the truck body was in the raised position is to be established.
Refer to:

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036820

Construction materials mine
Principal hazard:
Roads or other vehicle operating areas
SummaryA truck driver tipped a full load of material and then moved the truck forward about a metre, but the tailgate did not release from the tipped mound. The driver walked to the tailgate and put his head between the tailgate and truck body to see if something was preventing the tailgate from releasing. As he did this, the tailgate swung forward, hitting the side of the truck operator's head and causing his head to become caught between the tailgate and truck body. The driver suffered head lacerations. 

Recommendations to industry: This incident is the subject of an investigation. The NSW Resources Regulator investigated the death of a truck operator in 2016, who suffered fatal head injuries from a swinging tailgate. Two similar non-fatal incidents occurred in quick succession, leading to an awareness campaign to bring this hazard to the attention of industry. Nobody should place any part of their body between an unsecured tailgate and the truck body. This message should be reiterated to all truck operators, including contractors, on all mine sites. Workers should be trained to recognise the hazards associated with gravity, and the controls that should be used.

Refer to:

Serious injury | IncNot 0036829

Underground metals mine
Principal hazard:
Ground or strata failure
SummaryA worker was assisting a Jumbo operator who was bolting a pillar incline. After the worker manually scaled the roof area (removed loose material), he began installing retaining caps resin capsules. He dropped a cap and bent over to pick it up. When he did this, a rock fell from beneath the mesh and hit him on the back of the head. The rock was about 50 centimetres in diameter and weighed about 20 kilograms. The worker lost consciousness briefly. The worker’s hard hat absorbed some of the impact.
Recommendations to industry: Control measures to manage the risks of ground or strata failure include:
  • using appropriate equipment and procedures for scaling
  • the design, installation and quality of rock support and reinforcement.
Work methods must consider the risk of falling material and locations of people.
ISR20-08 | 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 (fatal)
Publication: MSHA
Coal mine fatality

On 10 February 2020, a mine examiner was operating a personnel carrier down a mine intake slope. Evidence indicated the personnel carrier struck the left rib while travelling down the intake slope. The mine examiner was found unresponsive near the bottom of the slope, lying beside the personnel carrier.
International (other, non-fatal)
Publication: MinEx NZ
Plant operated without guard
A worker removed the rear guarding on a feeder to remove rocks. After removing the rocks, the worker failed to replace the guarding. 
National (fatal)
Publication: WorkSafe VIC (in MinEx NZ)
Hot works cause quarry fire

WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert about the risks associated with hot works, after a hopper liner and screen caught fire at a quarry. 
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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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