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Mining giant blames poor communication for crushed worker finger

Mount Isa Copper Operations crushed finger
Mount Isa Copper Operations crushed finger

A multinational resources company found a lack of notice caused a workplace injury in northwest Queensland.

Glencore confirmed a production bomber recently crushed his finger while relocating an explosives carrying box on the back of a light vehicle (LV) at Mount Isa Copper Operations (MICO), 1km west of Mount Isa.

The bomber’s finger became jammed between the box and tray after a colleague moved the heavy object without sufficient warning.

“The explosive storage box was not adequately secured into the tray of the LV, allowing for movement during transport,” MICO production superintendent Gary Ferguson said in a Glencore safety alert.

“[The] operator was unaware colleague was going to start repositioning the box.”

After reporting the injury, the bomber was urgently transported to Mount Isa Base Hospital’s emergency department for treatment. The incident resulted in a “lost time injury”. The worker was unable to perform regular duties and either had to take time off, or be assigned different tasks, until fully recovered.

Ferguson made the following recommendations:

  • modify explosives boxes to allow them to be secured into LVs
  • develop and rollout toolbox talk around hands/fingers and pinch points
  • always be aware of pinch points and ensure clear communication when manoeuvring equipment within a team
  • reinforce with operators the importance of clear communications and hazard identification when working within a team
  • ensure purpose-built storage boxes are secured to LV trays, or fit flush inside trays, to prevent movement during transport
  • update the safety and security management plan to state boxes must be secured enough to prevent theft or loss of explosives.

Click here to download the full safety alert.

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AMSJ April 2022