AMSJ » Seat belt training recommended after fatal dump truck rollover
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Seat belt training recommended after fatal dump truck rollover

The importance of seat belts in mining vehicles has been highlighted in a report released by the DMP after a fatal dump truck rollover.

The dump truck operator was killed on a Western Australian site while hauling waste rock from an open pit to the waste dump.

“For reasons unknown, the operator failed to negotiate a slight left-hand bend and the truck took a gradual path to the left before colliding with the hard rock windrow,” the significant incident report said.

“Tyre marks indicate that the truck’s front and rear left tyres mounted the windrow, and the dump truck rolled onto its right side. There is no evidence of braking before or at the time the truck
mounted the windrow.”

Two workers nearby heard the collision and one ran over to assist, where they found the operator still in the driver’s cab (on the upper left side of the truck) before they fell about 3.75 m to the ground from the passenger’s side of the cab.

Despite the efforts of work colleagues and the emergency services, the operator died a short time later. A vehicle examination showed the dump truck and the driver’s seat belt were in good working order.

The report listed actions in accordance with the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995, which includes each vehicle used at the mine fitted with seat belts and seat belt anchorage points, and people driving or travelling in a vehicle with a seat belt to fasten it.

“Workers should be instructed, through training and inductions, regarding the importance of using the seatbelts provided in vehicles to reduce the impact of potential collisions,” the report said.

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  • So what I take from this is that they have no actual idea how the incident occurred (as is often the case), but because there is no box for that in ICAM, and investigators have to come up with recommendations, it’s the driver’s fault for not wearing a seat belt. No discussion about the paradox that the windrow put in place to stop heavy vehicles driving off roads contributed to this incident. No discussion about the uncertainty surrounding roll overs. Just a recommendation to train people about seatbelt usage. How disappointing for our industry…

    • There is a big difference on rectifying what lead to the incident but what may have saved the life of the operator was wearing a seatbelt I hope to god there are a lot more learnings from this loss of life. Seat belts are installed for a reason and to say education and training is the answer is a crock of shit – like driving on the road – as adults we make a conscious decision to wear or not wear a seatbelt … Human behaviour no training or rules will make a difference – engineer it oh yeh let’s have an alarm or system that will stop the truck from staring without a seatbelt – yep doesn’t take long to realise that if you just do the seatbelt up behind you all is well – seen it so many times before

    • Agree Dave Whitefield! But have to say I’ve also seen seatbelt systems that prevent startup being over ridden by using dummy seat belt male ends that plug in to stop the alarm or allow for startup. Very challenging indeed!

    • It seems people are complex and don’t behave rationally, despite all our systems and safety thinking assuming that they do. And because we aren’t ok with this we then have to label the individual as stupid, or idiot, or dumb, or untrained or inexperienced, or inattentive. It all perpetuates the myth that if you know enough (lots of training) or if you are committed enough (do it for the people you love) you can be safe (whatever safe means).

  • There has to be more to the findings than “conduct seat belt training”. Surely the mines inspectorate conducted a through investergation for the coroner. This is the kind of investergation finding I would expect to see come out of a sham ” let’s blame the operator and get back to work” ICAM’s.
    For reasons unknown the truck failed to take a slight left hand bend, the truck took a gradual party to the left before mounting the bund and fell on its side. No evidence of braking before the truck mounted the bund. Really, for reasons unknown? Ask the WA Police how they would rate this incident. I think the word fatigue would come up somewhere.
    I hope this story is misreported and not the accepted standard for accident investigation involving a death.

  • That’s my Dad. Anyone who knows him, knows that he is the most safety conscious person at work and away from work that you have ever had the pleasure of meeting. IF he failed to put his seatbelt on that one time maybe he was so fatigued from 12 and a half hour work days that it slipped his mind. How about all you know it alls keep your opinions to yourself and realise that this man had a family who miss dearly every single day.

    • Tracey i worked with your father and uncle Ty at Mount Kieth a few years ago now and i could not help but post a comment on this site. He was a good friend and great bloke unfortunately for me he lived in kal and me in Perth so it was the odd phone calls. He was truly life of every party or shift change sitting up late and pulling out the guitar and singing until the early hours. I will cherish the time knowing your dad and believe that i will be a better person for having that privilege. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and the rest of our Te Whanau , God bless if you would like to talk to find out any other little thinks please respond and i can send you my details regards
      Mark Ward

  • Without being privy to the actual investigation report..This is kind of a weird article and very premature just to solely place the incident on seatbelts. It doesn’t really mention what the mechanism of injury actually was (was it a fall from the cab or was he pinned under the truck?) and the events leading up to this. As the article suggests two workers ran up to the truck to help and found the operator in the cab, then a fall of 3.75meters was mentioned..

    Questions: Is it possible the operator was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash then un harnessed himself and then fell from the cab.? What actually happened prior the collision with the windrow? Medical emergency? Fatigue? Mechanical failure? Haul road design.?

    Condolences to all those involved.!

    Regards,

  • The seatbelt recommendation from the DMP was just one of a number that were identified in the preliminary report issued after this tragic accident. There will be other important direct and contributory causes that are identified during the remainder of the investigation. The statement from the regulator about a seatbelt needing to be worn on WA mine sites is purely a link to the fact that the mine safety inspection regulations require it, and that workers need to be made aware of this!

    There may be many more reasons why this gentleman isn’t with us anymore and they will all be available to review when the investigation is done. People shouldn’t jump the gun and make stupid comments about “that being all they got out of the investigation”…

  • Read between the lines. He was wearing his seat belt, then took it off to exit the cab which was on its side. He would be standing on the passenger door (Which opens down towards the ground)… 2 men run over and open it and he fell out of the cab. Alive afer impact. Death caused by co-workers.

  • Very sad. My condolences Tracey Harris and family. We’re all experts after the fact. Regardless of why he wasn’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, it does go to show that they are the difference between life and death or spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair. And a two second exercise to pull across your body and click in. Perhaps we should spare a thought for this man and his grieving family the next time we choose not to spend those two seconds doing just that.

  • I have seen the SHMS’s of many mines locally and internationally and they all emphasize the correct use of seat belts through operator training.

    If in this day and age, an operator choose not to fit a seat belt, that operator is at fault in my opinion. It is a safety choice they make at the time and all operators know that.

  • It is with a truly heavy heart that i feel the need to respond to some of the comments ive just read in relation to the unfortunate passing of a good friend and colleague i have had the pleasure of knowing. I do believe that this level of short sightedness and assumption are a failing in due process in directly passing blame prior to all facts being released. Those of you with any understanding of the investigation process would agree that a judgement can not be made until all parts have been closed out and all findings released. Hopefully there may be a little more compassion shown and even apologies made to the family on the release of the final come and possible contributing facts. To the TE Whanau this i know is a difficult time for you all please know your Husband your Father was a great friend and honest and loyal man who’s Te Whanau he always put first. Hopefully this never happens to the family of these narrow minded people that are so quick to mock and belittle, for the sake of a quick thoughtless comment.
    A wise man once said, learn from the misfortune of others as one would never live long enough to make all the mistakes ones self.
    Those of you that work in our industry, for the sake of your family’s stay focused and dont take short cuts over the next coming weeks and ensure you all are lucky enough to make it home safe to your loved ones this Christmas and treasure that time. Spare a thought for those families that this year that will not have the same privilege.
    RIP my old friend and give strenght to those left behind.

  • This report says nothing at all. The DMP makes no mention that this was the first swing of introducing 12 & 1/2 hr shifts. Which since the accident has been stopped. Neither does it mention other things that have been changed on site. DMP are just one of the facets of the investigation, and were very quick to release this, so called report publically. Their job was supposedly to test the vehicle and all its components. I hope they did this, as thoroughly as the coroner’s did their investigation. Two weeks we waited before they released my darling back to us. I never seen any of you at the hospital as I held my darling before they took him to the coroners office, neither did I see you at the accident site, the next morning when they took me there, so I could send his spirit home. None of you helped me dress him for his service….

    Fact No1, none of your seen his injuries.
    You are all so willing to believe anything you read, yet a lot of you work within the industry, you make me sick! More so than general members of the public, because you know the bullshit that goes on.
    Fact No2, This report was released publically Nov 23, I get to read it on here!
    Fact No3, I/We still have an incomplete death cert, pending a coroners report. Who can’t make his report until ALL relevant reports are forwarded to him…the DMP is but one!
    This according the coroner’s office could take 6mths!

    I was always taught it is better to “shut up & have people think you’re a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”…. Some of you should give this some thought!

AMSJ April 2022