AMSJ » Worker struck by light vehicle at quarry

Worker struck by light vehicle at quarry

Fatal incident
View looking south toward crushing plant showing location of the worker when struck

The NSW Resources Regulator has reported a fatal incident at a quarry. A 23-year-old contract worker was working at West Wyalong
Quarry when he was struck by a light vehicle resulting in fatal injuries.

The contract worker and light vehicle driver travelled together in the light vehicle to the crushing and screening plant area of the quarry. The driver stopped the vehicle on the western side of the yard adjacent to a new crushing and screening plant which is under construction. The two workers alighted from the light vehicle. The contract worker walked in an easterly direction towards the middle of the yard. The worker was kneeling down to pick up a dropped box of washers and a can of spray paint, which had been earlier dropped on the ground.

NSW investigates fatality at hard rock quarry

Light vehicle accident at an open cut coal mine

At the same time the light vehicle driver walked in a westerly direction to assist electrical contractors who were unable to start a nearby forklift. The driver returned to the light vehicle with the intention of making his way to the quarry office and workshop to obtain jumper leads necessary to start the forklift.

While the contract worker was still kneeling down collecting the washers, the driver started the light vehicle and made a left-hand U-turn in an easterly direction. As the light vehicle travelled around the yard, the lower front passenger side of the light vehicle struck the contract worker from behind and travelled over him.

First aid was administered by other workers and later by NSW Ambulance, however, attempts to resuscitate the worker were unsuccessful. The NSW Resources Regulator has commenced an investigation into the incident.

The hard rock quarry is located on Wargin Road, Wyalong, about five kilometres southwest of West Wyalong, NSW. The mine operator is Regional Hardrock (West Wyalong) Pty Limited.

Safety observations

Mine and quarry operators are reminded of their primary duty to identify hazards and manage risks to health and safety in accordance with requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 and associated regulations.

Mine and quarry operators must comply with general risk management and traffic specific legislative requirements including Division 2 (Principal hazard management plans), Schedule 1 (Roads or other vehicle operating areas) and clause 28 (Operational controls – Movement of mobile plant) of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014.

Mine and quarry operators should consider:

  • the adequacy of transport management plans including parking locations, separation between pedestrians and light vehicles, audible warning systems and communication protocols on site.

Operators of light vehicles should vigilantly:

  • observe the surrounding area and intended path of travel prior to starting vehicles
  • ensure the intended path of travel is clear of pedestrians and other obstructions prior to moving.

Pedestrians should not rely upon light vehicle drivers being aware of their presence and:

  • avoid placing themselves in trafficable areas unless safe to do so
  • ensure effective positive communications with light vehicle operators
  • ensure acknowledgement of their presence and intended work location by light vehicle operators

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AMSJ April 2022