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Counterweight near miss

An ivestigation into a counterweight fall in being conducted
A Counterweight fell 30 metres at a Victoria mine site

Worksafe Victoria mining safety regulator has reported a near-miss with a counterweight at a mine site.

According to the regulator, a 20-tonne counterweight fell approximately 30 metres from its operating position. The area below the counterweight was isolated by a fence, resulting in no injuries. However, the supporting structure was significantly damaged.

The Regulator has drawn the attention of mine operators to Australian Standard 2759-2004 Steel wire rope – Use, operation and maintenance.

The Regulator says in order to risk failure mines should implement:

  • risk management systems identify hazards and control risks associated with plant and structures;
  • routine inspections of plant and structures are undertaken to ensure good working order;
  • plant and structures undergo regular and appropriate maintenance.

An investigation is continuing.


In March 2015, a high potential incident at the Osborne Mine in Queensland occurred when a counterweight fell to the bottom of a shaft following a maintenance upgrade.

While the counterweight rope on a winder was being nondestructive tested, the brakes failed and the counterweight fell to the bottom of the shaft with the rope spooling off the drum and falling down the shaft as well.

Image Victorian Workcover Authority.

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AMSJ April 2022