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MINING HAZARDS Tyre Safety

Tyre change activity at the centre of Curragh fatality investigation

tyre handling fatality coronado resources curragh

A tyre change activity conducted at the Curragh mine site may have been at the centre of the mining fatality that claimed the life of Tyre Fitter Donald Rabbit on Sunday.

Coronado Rescourse Inc (ASX: CRN) released a statement today on the recent accident at the Curragh mine in Queensland.

Coronado confirmed that the “operations at the Curragh Mine Complex have been suspended since 12 January 2020 when an employee of Thiess was fatally injured during a tyre change activity in the main workshop.”

The Queensland Mines Inspectorate subsequently visited the mine and issued a directive that requires all relevant tyre and wheel rim fitting activities be suspended until the Inspectorate is satisfied that these activities can recommence safely.

Coronado said it will not permit these activities on its site until both the company and the Inspectorate are satisfied with the safety of these activities.

Coronado said it is “supportive of this directive and all efforts to improve safety at all our operations.”

tyre handler safety alert
Tyre handler safety instructions

AMSJ understands that a range of causal factors have been identified during the preliminary investigations into the accident. These include the use of the tyre handler and its’ ability to secure the tyre in place prior to the fatal accident. We have also been informed that the tyre change activity may have involved a float.

We stress that investigations are continuing into the incident and a brief will be prepared for the Coroner that will assist in determining all factors associated with the fatal event.

Tyre related incidents and accidents have featured prominently throughout the industry including as recently as November 2018 when a mineworker was killed when a tyre fell from a tyre handler at the Bengalla mine in NSW.

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Coronado begins safety resets following mine fatality

Coronado says that return to work safety sessions are taking place with all workers on site this morning before unaffected areas of the Curragh complex gradually resume operations from Friday at the earliest.

Coronado chief executive officer Mr Gerry Spindler said: “Our priority remains the welfare and safety of our employees and contractors and supporting the family and all those impacted at this sad time.

“Our hearts go out to those mourning the loss of a loved one, friend and valued colleague.”

Coronado says it is “conducting a full investigation to understand the causes of this incident and continues to support the third party reviews underway” it confirmed.

Coronado and Theiss are also continuing to provide counselling and support to employees and their families.

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  • The current and ongoing spate of fatalities in Queensland reminds me of the abysmal Queensland Regulatory OHS culture I experienced at the Phosphate Hill Fertiliser Construction Project around 1998.
    A subcontractor welder fell around 13 metres to the floor of a tank being constructed and was fatally injured.
    The subsequent internal investigation revealed stark root causes and contributing factors – pointing directly to the main contractor involved in the tank construction.
    To my shock , the Regulatory authority never prosecuted any company or individual – what a farce.
    Has anything changed – it seems not!!
    It is way overdue – Queensland needs to take these matters seriously.
    The WA Mines regulatory authority is one of the best in the world – Perhaps Queensland should take notice.

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