AMSJ » Employer ‘deeply regrets’ heavy vehicle’s deadly fall

Employer ‘deeply regrets’ heavy vehicle’s deadly fall

Hanson worker
File photo of a Hanson truck operator

A multinational company expressed condolences after a fatal truck accident occurred at one of its operations.

Hanson Construction recently pleaded guilty to failing to maintain a safe work environment at its Red Hill mine.

One heavy vehicle’s front right wheel breached a windrow at the narrowed section of road. This caused the haul truck to straddle the windrow, before tilting and falling 15 metres into the open-pit. Operator Andrew Herd died at the scene shortly after 6:50am on 20 June 2019.

Authorities discovered the bench windrow height should have been at least 50 per cent of the vehicle’s wheel diameter.

Investigators found about 10 metres of the windrow, which included the area where the incident occurred, was below the 50 per cent height threshold.

The windrow also should have had steep, well-formed sides and a linear inner-toe edge. The windrow’s shape did not deflect the haul truck away from the 15 metre drop.

The proponent responded to the incident by significantly improving composition and increasing bench windrow height.

“Hanson deeply regrets the passing of Mr Herd and expresses its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues,” a spokesperson said according to News Limited.

“Ensuring the safety of people is a core value at Hanson and we will continue to strive to prevent and minimise risks to health and safety at our workplaces.”

Midland Magistrates Court fined the employer $130,000 and ordered it to pay $4000 in costs. The business was not charged with killing the employee.

WorkSafe WA urged every employer to prevent similar incidents from occurring in future.

“[They] should have conducted a risk assessment of the haul truck operation on the bench where the incident occurred. They should have determined the suitability of the windrow in that area and the significance of the narrowed section of road,” chief inspector mines Christina Folley said in a public statement.

“This would have included constructing the windrow to industry standards, demarcating the windrows in the area with guideposts and reflectors, and applying appropriate signage.”

Click here to read the full safety notice.

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  • It is so disheartening to see that this totally preventable incident actually occured. Risk assessment and hazard awareness training must be paramount in all mining.