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Driver’s close call highlights need for procedure

A light vehicle driver narrowly avoided disaster this week when an integrated tool carrier (ITC) reversed into the driver-side door in an underground metals mine in New South Wales.

Two ITCs followed by a light vehicle were tramming down a decline and pulled into a level access to give way to a truck travelling uphill.

When the truck cleared the access, the second ITC began reversing out of the access and the rear counterweight collided with the driver’s door on the occupied light vehicle.

The New South Wales Resources Regulator found two issues at the root of the incident.

The vehicle operator had parked in a hazardous location behind the ITC and failed to make positive communications with ITC operator, and the ITC operator did not use the reversing camera and failed to sound the horn before reversing.

“Plant operators are reminded that they must establish positive communications before entering the work area of other mobile plants,” the NSW Resources Regulator said.

“Workers must check the area behind their machines before reversing. Workers should use all aids such as mirrors, cameras and awareness systems that are fitted.”

The NSW Resources Regulator recently carried out a targeted awareness campaign focused on the risk of collisions involving mining equipment.

The aim of this campaign was to help mine workers understand they have a role to play and an obligation to keep themselves and their workmates safe and deliver a timely reminder to mine operators to review their safety management systems and implementation of safety controls.

Fundamental practices such as positive communication, adherence to site traffic rules and procedures, driving to the conditions and operator hazard awareness are repeatedly identified through the Regulator’s investigations as contributing factors to incidents.

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