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Latest mining safety incidents highlight a need to reflect on safety

load shift during vent door install
A load shift resulted in a mine worker breaking a leg during ventilation door install

In two of the latest mining safety incidents involving Load Haul Dump vehicles, communication clearly paid a key part. The incidents highlight the need to reflect on safety and communicate during seemingly small routine tasks but also reflect the need to ensure systems are adequate for the tasks undertaken.

Vehicle Interaction highlights positive communication

Summary: Two machines (a load haul dump vehicle [LHD] and a person transporter) were travelling outbye in convoy. Another LHD was travelling inbye and shunted off the road to allow the convoy to pass. When the LHD that was travelling outbye passed, the shunted machine pulled out of the cut through. The transporter stopped but it was hit by the LHD. None of the four workers in the transporter at the time of the incident was injured.

Recommendations to industry: Mines must develop systems and procedures around vehicle interaction. This must identify how the use of positive communications with vehicle operators will be completed.

Serious Injury Load shift results in a broken leg

Serious injury | IncNot0033745

Summary: Three contract workers were installing a set of ventilation doors underground. As the door was moved into position with a load haul dump (LHD), it slid forward on the forks.  A worker’s lower left leg was caught between the door and the door frame, resulting in a fracture to the tibia and fibula. The injured worker was transported to the hospital.

Recommendations to industry: Operators must identify the risk of loads shifting, especially when there is steel on steel contact. Loads should be appropriately secured and safe standing zones should be established before commencing work.
Image for illustration purposes – not actual event

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AMSJ Nov 2021