The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum have issued a Significant Incident Report after a miner was injured as a result of “horseplay”.
The incident occurred when a dogger and excavator operator were test-lifting a polypipe spool and valve assembly, and another worker, not related to the activity, entered the area from behind the excavator and threw a rope through an open window of the excavator.
The report said this action “startled” the operator.
“When he asked the rope-throwing worker what he was doing, the worker pulled strongly on the rope, which caught on the excavator’s control stick, causing the excavator and its load to slew to the left,” the report stated.
“The operator tried to remove the rope from around the control stick. However, the other worker pulled on the rope again, causing the excavator and its load to slew a second time. The load swung into the dogger’s leg, injuring him.”
The Royal Flying Doctor Service flew the injured worker from site to Perth for medical attention, and he later had surgery
The report named the “horseplay” as a direct cause of the incident, and also said the lift area was not adequately barricaded to prevent unauthorised entry, and the dogger was in the “line of fire”.
The report outlined section 10 (1) of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, employees must not adversely affect the safety or health of any other person through any act or omission at work.
“Employers must ensure that workers understand their duty of care to themselves and others, and supervisors must not permit unauthorised deviation from site procedures