NSW Regulator encourages braking safety standards

The NSW Resources Regulator has emphasised the importance of safety critical system inspections after a 20-tonne tracked support vehicle rolled into a creek due to a failed braking system.

According to the regulator, the accident occurred at a metals exploration operation in New South Wales.

The operator suffered lower back injuries after the vehicle lost power and rolled backwards into the creek bank.

A preliminary investigation by the regulator has suggested that a brake failure prevented the vehicle from stopping.

The investigation also found that there was no fail-safe braking system.

The regulator stated that mine operators should develop inspection and maintenance standards and practices to stop similar accidents from occurring.

“Vehicle operators must carry out pre-start inspections to ensure plant can be safely operated,” the regulator stated.

“Safety critical systems, such as braking, should be inspected, maintained and tested in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.”

In February, the regulator reported that a mining company damaged a pump and associated infrastructure due to an unattended haul truck rolling 65 metres as its park brake had not been activated.

The fail-safe park brake did not activate when the ignition was switched off due to a failure of a solenoid on one of the park brake valves.

Following the incident, the regulator suggested that brake testing regimes on mobile plant including fail-safe mechanisms and interlocks are tested to prevent rollaway events.

In April, the regulator revised its recommended logbook for maintenance of competence.

The maintenance of competence scheme is required to prove an individual who has a practicing certificate has the most recent knowledge and skills.

The scheme requires individuals to complete learning in the areas of mining and workplace health and safety, legislation, emergency management, leadership and management and general work health and safety topics.