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Inadequate Procedures Caused Death of Worker at CSA Cobar Mine

kibble operated by McMahon Mining service
McMahon Mining services original fine was appealed and increased to $375K

Inadequate procedures for the operation of a kibble led to the death of a worker at the CSA Cobar mine in March 2013, according to mine accident investigators.

At around 4:20am on 16 March 2013 a shaft sink supervisor got into a kibble at the lower deck of a stage and rang the shaft bell to be hoisted to the brace, a distance of approximately 15 metres. As the kibble passed through the opening in the upper deck the supervisor received fatal head injuries.

In a Safety Alert issued by NSW Mines Safety, investigators  found that, “The principal control measure used on this job to prevent this type of injury appeared to be that people travelling in the kibble must ensure body parts did not extend beyond the confines of the conveyance.”

Investigators found that more effective controls, such as ‘elimination of the hazard, substituting, isolating, or implementing engineering controls’ should have been in place to prevent the accident.

NSW Mines Safety recommended that:

  • Specific risks associated with shaft sinking projects, the use of conveyances and the interaction of conveyances with other shaft sinking equipment must be identified, assessed and effectively controlled.
  • Shaft sinking stage should provide adequate clearances for kibbles and eliminate potential pinch points.
  • Where practicable, a suitably constructed man riding cages should be used in lieu of kibble as a form of shaft conveyance.
  • Administrative/soft controls should not be exclusively used to manage shaft sinking risks.
  • Workers should be adequately trained in the use and safe operations of all shaft sinking equipment.
  • Shaft signalling systems should contain a specific signal to identify when people are riding in shaft sinking conveyances.
  • Human factors such as fatigue, hours of work and human error should be considered when reviewing shaft sinking risks.
  • Mine operators should ensure that the contractor’s safety management plans are approved and are consistent with the mine operator’s safety management plan.

Click here for the full NSW Mines Safety Investigation Report:

 

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