Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) has recommended senior site executives ensure all operators are trained and competent in the operation of vehicles after a coal mine worker was injured by a moving vehicle.
According to an RSHQ report, the worker was between the stationary light vehicle and pallet racking in a workshop when a work colleague undertook prestart checks on the vehicle.
The worker started the engine of the light vehicle as they were standing beside the driver’s door while the vehicle transmission was in reverse and the engine was started.
When the engine started, the light vehicle moved backwards, injuring the worker when they were trapped between the pallet racking and the vehicle tray
The vehicle tow bar hit an upright on the pallet racking and one corner of the cargo tray slid onto an adjacent shelf. This combination stopped the rearward motion of the vehicle, preventing the injury from being more severe than what occurred.
The RSHQ report stated the key issues involved in the incident included that the vehicle engine was started before ensuring the transmission was in neutral and that personnel were clear of the vehicle.
It also concluded that the operator was not in the driver’s seat when the vehicle engine was started.
RSHQ recommended that site executives ensure all vehicle drivers have the correct training to operate vehicles, and to communicate workers are notified of this recommendation.
It also recommended that site workers take time before starting a vehicle and to check the vehicle is stable using wheel chocks or other methods when undertaking prestart checks.
“Ensure vehicles are in neutral prior to starting the vehicle and that you are sitting in the driver’s seat prior to starting the vehicle,” RSHQ stated.
“Ensure that all persons are clear of the vehicle prior to starting the engine by walking around the vehicle.”
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.