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Tyre explosion following lightning strike

Tyre explosion following lightning strike in QLD coal mine

Resources Safety & Health Queensland has published a safety alert regarding a tyre explosion incident resulting from a lightning strike at a Queensland coal mine. The Queensland Mines Inspectorate suggests mines to review lightning Trigger action response plans (TARPs) due to severe weather.

According to the report, a surface mine stopped production due to wet weather towards the end of their dayshift. The mobile mining equipment was driven to a purpose-built in the field parking area and parked up. The nightshift commenced their pre-start at the crib huts adjacent to the parking area while waiting for the wet weather to ease. The lightning Trigger action response plans (TARPs) was initiated while the pre-start was underway.

A coal mine worker in the crib hut for the pre-start meeting saw lightning strike a truck in the park-up area. Shortly afterwards, the position 5 tyre on the truck exploded. The concussion and tyre fragments from the blast shattered windows in the crib huts, dislodged air conditioners, lights and water tanks from their fixtures.

Two coal mine workers received injuries requiring first aid treatment. The crib huts were considered to be a place of safety during severe weather and lightning.

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Lightning warning systems vital for ensuring safety at mines

The Queensland Mines Inspectorate said, “mines should review their severe weather or lightning TARPS that manage the risk to coal mine workers from rubber-tyred mobile plant during lightning storms.”

“Assess the most appropriate methods of protecting coal mine workers from the consequences of tyre explosions and appropriate methods of preventing lighting strikes to mobile plant at park up locations.”

“Rubber tyred mobile plant cannot be considered as a place of safety during a lightning storm. Care must be taken where these vehicles are parked during a lightning storm so as not to create a hazard for coal mine workers, buildings or structures.”

“Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.”

“We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.”

Read more Mining Safety News

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AMSJ Nov 2021