People warned of falling risks at opal mine shafts

NSW – Resources Regulator

Three recent incidents have generated significant concern regarding the implementation and use of safe systems of work associated with accessing and egressing from open shafts and shaft security in general at the Lightning Ridge opal fields.
The accident scene at the May incident in which a miner fell down a shaft.
Incident 1:On Saturday 16 December 2017, a resident living near an unused shaft fell about 6 metres down the shaft. More than 24 hours passed before the resident was found and rescued.

Incident 2: On Sunday 29 April 2018, a claim holder/mining operator suffered spinal fractures when he fell to the bottom of a mine shaft while undertaking work on the ladder in the shaft.

Incident 3: On Friday 11 May 2018, a claim holder/mining operator fell down a shaft while using the mine shaft access ladder to exit the shaft. The miner suffered serious injuries including compound fractures to both ankles and a fractured femur.

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