Cart incident raises communication concerns

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The New South Wales Resources Regulator is recommending plant operators establish positive communications before entering the work area of other mobile plants following a cart accident at an open cut mine site.

According to the NSW Resources Regulator, a service cart entered an operational drill area and parked facing the front of a drill rig.

The drill rig moved forward and one of the drill support cradle arms made contact with the hand rail and windscreen of the service cart.

Visibility from the drill cabin was poor due to dust on the windows and glare from the sun.

The report stated the service cart operator did not establish positive communications with the drill rig operator and there were no injuries.

The NSW Resources Regulator stated that all mine operators  must have well-established procedures for positive communications and workers have a legal obligation to follow those procedures.

The Regulator also reported that an elevated work platform (EWP) was being driven toward the ramps of a low loader when it slipped off the edge of the deck.

The operator was in the basket of the EWP at the time. A spotter was helping to guide the operator during the unloading process. The operator was thrown from the basket and sustained a fractured vertebra.

The Regulator has recommended that mine operators have controls in place to manage the risk of EWP’s overturning during loading and unloading activities.

“EWP’s should be matched appropriately to the size of the transport vehicle (length and width) and be centrally positioned on the deck or tray,” the Regulator stated.

“Operators should plan loading and unloading tasks and final machine position before commencing the task.”

In a separate incident, a haul truck caught fire while driving on a haul road. Another truck operator noticed that the fire suppression system had activated and alerted the operator. The operator was able to exit the truck before it became engulfed in flames.

Investigations into the incident are progressing.

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