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New details released on fatality at Boggabri Mine

construction worker who died at Boggabri mine in NSWThe construction worker who died at Boggabri mine in NSW three weeks ago received his fatal crush injuries when his head became trapped between the protective rail over the console of the ‘cherry picker’ he was in and an overhead steel beam.

The official information was released in a NSW Mine Safety Investigation Information Release issued late last week.

The incident occurred on 21 May 2014 on the site of a partially constructed steel housing for a coal prep plant.

The man, a rigger/dogman, was working from a mobile articulated boom MEWP (rough terrain diesel knuckle boom) approximately 14 metres above the ground. He was tightening bolts on the steel structure and was the only person in the MEWP at the time of the incident.

According to the release: “Within the basket of the MEWP was an operator’s control panel consisting of a joystick control for movement of the basket in all directions, and another joystick control for propulsion and steering of the base of the machine. In each case, the joystick had an interlocking mechanism that was required to be held up before the joystick could move. This was intended to prevent inadvertent operation.”

“On the floor of the basket was a safety foot control. No movement of the MEWP basket was possible unless the foot control was continuously activated by the operator.”

Following is an extract from the information release:

“…At the time of the incident the deceased worker was observed standing alone in the MEWP basket. When last observed by a worker, there was only a small distance between the worker’s safety helmet and an overhead 600 mm steel beam.

“Shortly afterwards, the deceased worker was seen with his head caught between the steel beam and the safety rail protecting the operator’s console.

“Workers immediately lowered the basket using the controls on the base of the machine at ground level. Efforts to revive the worker were unsuccessful. A second MEWP was brought in from nearby on the worksite to recover the deceased worker to the ground level.”

Investigations into the incident are continuing.

Click here: Fatality at Boggabri Mine Investigation Information Release, to read the full report.

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AMSJ April 2022