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Falling chute liner strikes underground mine worker

chute liner

The NSW Resources Regulator has reported an incident regarding a mine worker who has struck by a falling chute liner at an underground metal mine.

According to the report, an underground worker sustained two fractures to his leg when he was hit by a chute liner that fell to the ground when a lifting lug on the liner failed. The liner weighed about 205 kilograms.

The Regulator said mine operators must provide safe systems of work. The work methods and controls used must consider the risk of falling material, the positioning of workers, and the use of mechanical aids. Whenever there is a possibility that objects can fall, appropriate no-go zones should be established to protect workers. No-go zones should be clearly delineated and communicated to all workers in the vicinity. When establishing a no-go zone as a control for falling objects, bouncing or ricocheting must be considered.

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The NSW Resources Regulator has reported an incident in an underground metal mine. The incident occurred when a workbox detached from an integrated tool carrier and fell approximately two metres. It hit the ground and rolled 90 degrees onto its side, partially ejecting two mineworkers who had been inside the workbox.

The Regulator stated, “mine operators must ensure that locking pins are in place on the mobile plant used for work boxes. The locking pins should be used to give a positive/secure attachment. Mineworkers involved in the task must verify that all locking pins are correctly engaged prior to use.”

The Regulator recommends that mine operators should review their safety management systems, particularly focusing on ensuring that:

  • workbox attachment systems are fit-for-purpose with machine attachment systems
  • change management arrangements for the modification and maintenance of workbox attachment systems are to be assessed in consultation with relevant equipment manufacturers or engineering specialists
  • for any modified plant, mines should conduct thorough assessments to ensure compatibility with existing site equipment and attachments
  • operational switches in mobile equipment are of an appropriate type, positioned and labelled appropriately to prevent inadvertent operation and consider additional barriers or protection of the locking pin release switch
  • information, instruction and training are provided to and implemented by workers for the safe use of workboxes.

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