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Worker injured after jewellery is caught on mine equipment

Ernest Henry Mine
Ernest Henry Mine

An underground mine employee from northwest Queensland was treated for injury after machinery became caught on his jewellery.

A jumbo operator needed several stitches to his hand after exiting a Jumbo 252 drill at Glencore’s Ernest Henry Mine near Clocurry, 161km east of Mount Isa.

“Their wedding band caught against the edge of a gauge penetration that was not blanked off,” development and operations superintendent Brad Tucker said in a safety alert.

“This has resulted in the operator sustaining a laceration, requiring 13 sutures to close the injury to their left-hand ring finger.”

Glencore believes the incident could have been avoided by facing the cab and maintaining three points of contact at all times. Covering or blanking off “nip/pinch points” on machinery, and removing or covering jewellery at work also would have reduced the risk of entanglement.

The employer ordered an audit of all mobile equipment. Any potential nip points were covered with blanking plates and crews were retrained in entering and exiting equipment. Induction manuals were also updated to require all jewellery to be covered or removed before starting shifts.

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AMSJ April 2022