NSW Mine Accident Alert

A fatal accident occurred recently in which the driver of a remotely controlled miner was crushed when a shuttle car was being maneuvered at a mine face. The regional inspector of mines Michael Downs noted that employees entering the coal industry for the first time are not fully aware of the implications and hazards of large mining equipment operating in confined spaces. 

It was recommended that all underground coal mines review the Safety Management System relating to the operation of face production equipment, in particular “No Go Zones”, to ensure that risk to all personnel in the face area is at an acceptable level. The inspector also recommended that mines conduct refresher training in the correct operation of “No Go Zones” and that mines should review the competencies and experience of face personnel in terms of the mining techniques and equipment in use in the production areas of mines.

It was also noted that links to the change management review processes, operating protocols and personnel training should be established to assist in maintaining acceptable levels of risk should different equipment be introduced into the mine.

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