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Boilermaker’s near miss during seized pin removal

Boilermaker near miss
An exploding pin almost resulted in a significant injury during maintenance of a rear wheel assembly

The NSW Resources Regulator has released a report into an incident involving a Boilermaker lancing and cooling a seized pin from the rear axle of a dump truck.

Seized pin Boiler maker injury

A boilermaker was trying to remove a seized pin from a rear axle link in a dump haul truck. The pin was heated using a lance, then cooled using water. This process was repeated. As the worker applied water to cool the pin, an explosion occurred, ejecting the pin horizontally from the pin bore where it hit the left pelvis of the boilermaker and pushed him back onto a scaffolding frame. The pin weighed about 50 kilograms. The scene was secured and the boilermaker was transferred to hospital. He suffered minor injuries.

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The Regulator says that lancing and cooling is a regular practice used frequently by Boilermakers to remove seized pins. However, the explosion that occurred was unprecedented and at the time of writing, not understood.

The Regulator has commenced a causal investigation into the incident so that the circumstances can be better understood and lessons shared with the industry.

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  • When removing pins by the stated method, JSA should have noted that cooling the pin the operation should be completed from either side not whilst standing in line with the pin.