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Underground worker crushed in IT work basket

A worker received serious head injuries after being crushed between an integrated tool carrier (IT) work basket and the roof of excavation.

Two servicemen were in the work basket removing pipe services from the sidewall and backs of an extra-high excavation, according a Department of Mines and Petroleum Significant Incident Report.

At the time of the March incident, the work basket had been raised close to the backs but extra lift was needed and the basket was tilted upwards.

One of the workers, who was new to the task and was undergoing training, was leaning over the front of the basket and received serious head injuries when crushed between the top rail of the basket and the backs.

The operator directing the work basket was not aware of the position of the offsider when the direction was given to tilt the work basket.

The report noted a lack of communication and insufficient training as contributory causes.

“Mine operators are reminded of the importance of developing safe systems of work that identify hazards and ensure effective risk controls are implemented for working in IT or elevated work platform (EWP) work baskets,” the report said.

The Department suggested mine operators consider installing height-limiting sensors or physical barriers to prevent similar incidents. They also suggested the installation of audible movement warning buzzers to work baskets.

Adequate training and supervision was also recommended.


Image: DMP – IT work basket in position beneath the backs

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