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No injuries for NSW coal mines

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A string of incidents at coal mines across New South Wales this week has led to the state’s Resources Regulator to call for greater caution on site.

At one coal mine, a haul truck was reported to have collided with the support structure of a reject bin.

The truck was travelling under the bin at low speed when it slid to the right and pushed over the protective bollard in front of the bin beam. The eyebrow on the tray made contact with the bin beam.

The regulator warned that when rain causes dangerous road surface conditions, roads should be closed until they are made safe for travel.

“Workers should immediately notify supervisors if they consider a work area is dangerous or not compliant with site standards,” the regulator said.

“Principal hazard management plans for roads or other vehicle operating areas should consider factors that may affect an operator’s ability to control a vehicle.”

At another site, workers were attempting to tow a face shovel back onto its tracks using two dozers when one of the synthetic slings snapped and recoiled.

The shackle hit the shovel track and ricocheted onto a dozer handrail coming to rest on the deck at the back left-hand corner.

“When towing plant, special attention should be given to the attachment of slings and shackles to minimise the likelihood of generating a hard projectile in the event of a sling failure,” the regulator said.

“Avoid loading soft slings against hard edges on attachment points.”

A third incident occurred when a haul truck crossed onto the right-hand lane to pass a grader while approaching a T-intersection. At the same time, a light vehicle approached the intersection up a ramp to turn left.

The haul truck proceeded through the intersection on the wrong side of the road as the vehicle attempted to turn left.

Before turning left, the vehicle driver looked to the right for oncoming traffic. The driver began the left-hand turn but had to quickly apply the brakes to avoid a collision with the oncoming haul truck.

The Resources Regulator said mine operators must ensure all roadway intersections are designed, constructed, and maintained to safely manage interactions between mobile plant and light vehicles.

“Intersections should be positioned at 90 degrees to haul roads to allow clear visibility for vehicles when travelling through them,” the regulator said.

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