The Resources Safety & Health Queensland (RSHQ) has provided recommendations to prevent incidents like what recently occurred at Gregory Crinum coal mine from happening again.
The central Queensland mine had been progressing through re-establishment and was due to start ramping up to peak production from late-2021 when an incident involving two underground miners resulted in one loss of life and one serious injury.
It is understood the two were conducting work in a conveyor drift at the mine when a significant fall of ground from the roof area of the drift occurred.
As the mine continues to undergo inspections, the RSHQ have offered their expertise, outlining solutions to assist underground coal mines in scrutinising or enhancing their safety protocols.
The RSHQ advise the relevant on-site representatives to review their hazard management plan.
Consideration should then be given to recommendations such as, “having sufficient geological and geotechnical information to adequately assess the requirements for the strata at your mine.
“The design of the strata support system, based on relevant geological and geotechnical data, being implemented provides a factor of safety appropriate to the life cycle of the strata support for the excavation.”
Mines should also ensure the minimum design considerations of the support system “consider strata properties, the properties of the support system, potential failure surfaces and appropriate factors of safety.”
Strata support should align with the design specifications and be clearly outlined in the approved support plan.
The RSHQ also call on the responsibility of leadership teams.
“Mine management must develop and implement a suitable quality control process to ensure the standard of installation meets that required by the design criteria for ground conditions at the mine.”
It’s important to consider all factors that could cause an incident like Gregory Crinum, even if they seem extraneous at first.
“The changes of any other factors (should be considered), particularly relating to but not limited to, shallow depth underground excavations associated with mine entries with a long life cycle that may impact on the installed strata support, changes in surface topography, water control and catchment, erosion, weathering, and the potential for water ingress.”
Read the full list of recommendations at the RSHQ website.