Mine operators have been requested to segregate heavy and light vehicles in traffic on mine sites, after a haul truck collided with a light vehicle in July, 2014.
A significant incident report, issued by the Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum, outlined the incident, which occurred while relocating a stockpile during a night shift at Brockman 4 iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
According to the report, a light vehicle entered the designated controlled mining area without following the correct process for entry which resulted in the light vehicle colliding with the haul truck.
An empty haul truck had passed through the single-lane controlled area and supervisors in the light vehicle assumed it was safe to enter the area for a brief inspection, however as they were leaving the site via a ramp, a loaded haul truck, which was travelling at a speed of about 20km an hour, collided with the vehicle.
The light vehicle became entangled with the haul truck’s emergency ladder and was pushed backwards about 40m down the recently watered ramp, with the haul truck only stopping when radio contact was established by the occupants of the light vehicle.
There were no injuries sustained in the collision.
The report said a lack of communication was a direct cause of the incident.
“The light vehicle occupants did not contact the senior operator in control of the area by two-way radio before entering the designated controlled area,” the report stated.
It also named the single-lane traffic management system as a contributory cause, as it “increased the potential for a collision as it did not segregate light vehicles from heavy vehicles in the designated controlled area”.
The report outlined the actions required to ensure the incident does not occur again, which include ensuring staff understand the hazards and risks with vehicle movements on site, removing single-lane traffic management systems, and implementing engineered traffic management solutions to segregate heavy and light vehicles.