Dozer flips at NSW coal mine

Underground Grader

A dozer has fallen on its side during windrow levelling at an open cut coal mine in New South Wales.

The operator suffered no injuries and was able to exit the machine.

However, the NSW Resources Regulator has outlined that workers have a duty of care to abide by policies and procedures that ensure they will not put themselves in danger.

“Failure to comply with a duty is an offence for which penalties apply,” the NSW Regulator stated.

According to the NSW Regulator, workers should not stray from an agreed procedure without discussing any changes with a supervisor. Risk control measures should also be put into place to ensure safety is maintained.

In 2019, the regulator reported several accidents involving overturned machines, which put the operators up to the potential of sustaining serious injuries.

One incident involved a dozer operator pushing coal on a stockpile at night after it had been raining, causing the coal to slump and rolled the dozer in the process.

Another incident involved a dozer sliding down a 6.5-metre drop after working to build a ramp during a night shift.

An investigation into the string of incidents from 2019 found that the incidents involved machine operators’ failure to assess the area before starting work and managing risks identified in the work area.

This went in addition to poor lighting, lack of training, incorrect methods and supervisors failing their duty to oversee work.

The NSW Resources Regulator recommended mine operators to assess all operating conditions and practices.

It has also encouraged mine workers to conduct pre-task inspections of work areas to identify hazards, and for mining companies to provide adequate lighting on site.

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