Mangoola coal mine commits to safety breach

Mangoola CHPP. Image: Mangoola Coal Operations

Mangoola Coal Operations has accepted an enforceable undertaking following a workplace incident at the Mangoola open cut mine in 2016.

An investigation by the NSW Resources Regulator has ended with alleged breach of the health and safety duty, in accordance to the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act, by Mangoola Coal.

Mangoola open cut operation hosts a large, undeveloped coal reserve of around 150 million tonnes (Mt) in the Wybong area, 20km west of Muswellbrook and around 10km north of the township of Denman in the Hunter Valley region of NSW.

During normal mining operations in October 2016, the cabin and cabin riser of a 250 tonne Leibherr R9250 excavator dislodged and tipped off the side of the excavator with the operator inside. The worker suffered minor injuries and hasn’t returned to full-time employment since.

Mangoola has since implemented measures to minimise the likelihood of an incident recurrence and submitted a proposal for an enforceable undertaking.

The Glencore-subsidiary has agreed to a range of initiatives that amount to over $370,000 in financial commitment.

These include engaging the Maintenance Technology Institute (MTI) within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Monash University to assess and produce a report on the incident.

The report contains recommended strategies that will be made available to the regulator and published on Mangoola Coal’s website.

Among other proposed undertaking, the company will also develop and execute a training program that helps identify and control core hazards and risks in the workplace, provided to all maintenance workers and staff in the company.

The regulator considers the undertaking to be significantly better than what prosecution alone could achieve.

Anthony Keon, NSW Resources Regulator chief compliance officer, said, “The undertaking is considered significant and will provide tangible benefits to the mining industry and the community.”

All resources developed during the undertaking will be shared with the broader audience to increase industry safety.