The NSW Resources Regulator has reported an incident that a vehicle rolled backwards at an exploration site. According to the report, the operator of a 20 tonne tracked support vehicle sustained lower back injuries when the vehicle lost power on an incline and rolled backwards before coming to rest on a creek bank. The preliminary investigation suggests that the braking system failed to stop the vehicle and there was no fail-safe braking system.
The cause of this incident is unknown at this stage. Further information may be published later. The Regulator said, “mine operators are reminded that they must develop and adhere to strict inspection and maintenance standards and practices to ensure the plant is fit-for-purpose. Vehicle operators must carry out pre-start inspections to ensure the plant can be safely operated. Safety-critical systems, such as braking, should be inspected, maintained and tested in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.”
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The NSW Resources Regulator has reported a truck incident that occurred at an open cut coal mine. A service truck overturned when the operator lost control of the vehicle while descending a ramp. The road surface was wet following recent dust suppression watering. The operator was able to exit the vehicle and was uninjured. The truck had approximately 20 kilolitres of fluid onboard and a capacity of 32 to 34 kilolitres.
When developing control measures to deal with the risks associated with articulated service trucks, plant characteristics, including stopping distances, manoeuvrability and operating speeds, for both the loaded and unloaded vehicle must be considered.
The movement of fluid in tanks mounted on the mobile plant can significantly influence the centre of gravity and overall stability of the vehicle. Consideration should be given to tank shape, baffling and compartmentalisation to control fluid surge.
Mine operators should provide operator training specific to wet roads and ensure drivers are made aware of dust suppression activities on roads.
Operators of articulated trucks need to remain situationally aware and drive to the conditions.