NSW Regulator makes recommendations following fatal mineral sands incident

The New South Wales Resources Regulator has released its findings for a fatal incident at the Snapper mineral sands mine in August 2019.

The incident involved a 47-year-old contractor who was injured when a Caterpillar D10T dozer collided with his light vehicle.

It occurred after the dozer operator made a radio request for the 47-year-old to retrieve his water bottle from the crib room at the mine, which was followed by a radio communication to meet at a light tower at the site.

The dozer operator waited for the 47-year-old at the light tower before receiving another radio communication, when the 47-year-old requested that the operator “track back to the light tower”.

The dozer operator checked his left, right and rear windows and rear view mirror before reversing back 10-15 metres and impacting the 47-year-old in his light vehicle.

“The DZ 813 operator immediately called an emergency using the dozer’s radio and a response was activated,” the Regulator stated.

“Several co-workers attended the tip head and rendered assistance but it was apparent that (the) injuries were fatal. Emergency services were notified and attended the scene.”

The NSW Resources Regulator has made several recommendations in its investigation into the incident.

This includes the encouragement of mine operators to monitor, review and audit procedures to ensure safety controls for light and heavy vehicle interactions, segregate light and heavy vehicles in active tip heads through the use of parking bays, installation of visual aids in heavy vehicles and to provide workers with blind spot instruction and training.

The Regulator also recommended that workers required to operate mobile plants have to comply with mobile plant separation and positive communications while never entering work zones of operating heavy vehicles.


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