Mine operators encouraged to monitor vehicle interactions

The New South Wales Resources Regulator has urged mine operators to ensure they have appropriate controls in place to manage the risks associated with heavy and light vehicle interactions, following two recent incidents.

Both incidents occurred on the roads and vehicle operating areas at open-cut coal mines, and involved light vehicles and haul trucks.

The first incident involved a light vehicle failing to stop and give way to a haul truck at a T-intersection when the truck was turning right.

The vehicle and haul truck stopped 18 metres apart and there were no injuries.

The second incident occurred when a truck incorrectly turned left into an outgoing lane intersection.

A light vehicle was approaching the intersection and the operator of the vehicle identified the truck and came to a stop before the intersection.

The truck identified the vehicle as it began its left-hand turn, at which point the vehicle was about 25 metres away from the intersection.

There were luckily no injuries involved in the incidents, however, the Regulator stresses that all mine operators ensure roadways, intersections and park-up areas are designed, constructed and maintained to safely manage interactions between mobile plants and light vehicles.

Another incident occurred at a quarry when a dump truck with its tray raised hit and pulled down live overhead powerlines, and the truck continued to drive forward.

The Regulator recommends that operators consider the risks associated with all activities that may occur near overhead power lines, irrespective of the frequency or complexity of the activity.

It continues that consideration should be given to all controls to prevent equipment encroaching on safe approach distances for high voltage overhead power lines, including alternate travel routes or work sites and warning signs or barriers for overhead power lines.

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