The driver of a personnel transport and service light vehicle crashed into a wall underground, prompting a NSW Mine Safety alert.
The vehicle, which contained the driver and two passengers, lost control while travelling down a decline into an underground mine to a job site.
Nobody was injured in the incident, with the driver reporting he turned the vehicle into the wall to bring it to a halt after the brakes and transmission lost control.
The NSW Mine Safety investigation determined that there was no mechanical fault with the vehicle brakes or transmission, the transmission transfer case lever had been inadvertently knocked into the neutral position by the driver who therefore had no gears and no engine braking, and the driver was pumping the clutch pedal, not the brake pedal, therefore had no braking.
“The investigation concluded that the cabin of the vehicle was not equipped to safely accommodate three people and this contributed to the transmission being knocked into neutral, and to the failure of the driver to properly control the vehicle,” the investigation said.
“Mines should conduct a risk assessment for the operation of personnel transport vehicles to determine the number of passengers that can be carried safely in the cabin, in a manner that will not pose a risk to the proper control of the vehicle by the driver.
“Mines should ensure that all passengers carried in personnel transport vehicles have access to seats and seatbelts that are suitable for the level of risk and provide a level of protection that is equivalent to that provided to the driver.”