Weekly incident summary

9 January 2020  | ISR20-01 | Go to website
To report an incident call 1300 814 609 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Week ending Friday 3 January 2020
High level summary of emerging trends and our recommendations to operators.

Reportable incidents: 89
Summarised incidents: 3

This incident summary provides information on reportable incidents and safety advice for the NSW mining industry.

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036395

SummaryA metalliferous mine was recovering a buried load haul dump machine (LHD) from a stope using a second LHD under tele-remote control when a fall of ground occurred in the recovery drive that resulted in the recovery LHD being buried. The fall of supported ground was about 2000 tonnes of material. No workers were in the vicinity when the fall occurred. Investigations at the time of writing suggest the fall may have been related to shotfiring, which occurred about two hours earlier in a stope two levels below where the fall occurred.

Recommendations to industry: When undertaking change management relating to an alteration in mining process or sequencing, mine operators should complete a full geological assessment to determine whether the proposed change increases the level of risk, or introduces new risks. 

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036385

SummaryAt an underground metalliferous mine, a Jumbo operator saw smoke while traversing the decline, but was unable to identify the cause. The operator initiated emergency procedures and the area was evacuated. Workers went to refuge chambers in accordance with procedures. All workers were accounted for within the refuge chambers. The mines rescue team was deployed to access the Jumbo and found that a lubrication fluid container that had been stored on the machine had melted, which was the causing the smoke.

Recommendations to industry: If it is essential to store containers of combustible fluids on mobile equipment, this should be in a location where they are adequately secured, not subject to excess heat, and there is no possibility of either the containers or leaking fluid making contact with hot surfaces. Plastic containers should be avoided wherever possible. At the completion of maintenance activities, equipment should always be thoroughly inspected to ensure all excess material has been removed including combustible materials, cleaning materials, hydrocarbons and tools. 

Dangerous incident | IncNot 0036363

SummaryA rock fall at an underground metalliferous mine trapped a loader and a light vehicle with a worker inside the vehicle. The worker first heard, then saw the fall of ground about five to 10 metres away. The worker reported the fall and exited the level via the escape ladder behind where the vehicle was parked. Neither of the machines were damaged.

Recommendations to industryWhen developing strata TARPs and support plans, mine operators must consider the predicted stress regime of the surrounding strata through the full lifecycle of a driven roadway. This incident shows the importance of mine operators establishing and maintaining secondary escapeways. 
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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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