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A service truck overturned at open cut coal mine

A service truck overturned

The NSW Resources Regulator has reported a truck incident that occurred at an open cut coal mine. A service truck overturned when the operator lost control of the vehicle while descending a ramp. The road surface was wet following recent dust suppression watering. The operator was able to exit the vehicle and was uninjured. The truck had approximately 20 kilolitres of fluid onboard and a capacity of 32 to 34 kilolitres.

When developing control measures to deal with the risks associated with articulated service trucks, plant characteristics, including stopping distances, manoeuvrability and operating speeds, for both the loaded and unloaded vehicle must be considered. 

The movement of fluid in tanks mounted on the mobile plant can significantly influence the centre of gravity and overall stability of the vehicle. Consideration should be given to tank shape, baffling and compartmentalisation to control fluid surge.

Mine operators should provide operator training specific to wet roads and ensure drivers are made aware of dust suppression activities on roads.

Operators of articulated trucks need to remain situationally aware and drive to the conditions.

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The NSW Resources Regulator has reported an incident where a mine fitter received severe injuries at an open cut coal mine.

According to the report, a maintenance fitter received a severe laceration to his left cheek while removing a cross-member from the engine bay of a haul truck. Two fitters were removing the cross-member by jacking from below and lifting with a crane. The injured worker was reportedly moving electrical cables from the path of the cross-member when it came loose. The tension applied by the slings, combined with the pressure from the jack, allowed the cross-member to rise up quickly and strike the fitter. The incorrect procedure was being used for the task.

The Regulator said: “mechanical engineering control plans must set out the control measures for risks associated with the unintended release of mechanical energy by considering safe work systems for people dealing with plant or structures. Mine operators should review how workers and supervisors are trained to recognise the potential hazards associated with all energy sources, including the load introduced by lifting equipment on the plant. This is especially important when there is the potential for stored energy to be released without warning.”

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