Yancoal reviews NSW mine risks following 2019 incident

Yancoal has introduced a number of safety actions at the Ashton Coal mine in Camberwell, New South Wales after a dangerous incident last year.

According to an investigation report by the New South Wales Resources Regulator, the incident involved an unplanned movement of a continuous miner within the mine’s underground roadway.

The continuous miner lost traction and slid backwards down the sloped rail where a cable hand was standing 10 to 15 metres behind.

The brakes on the continuous miner failed to stop its movement and caused the cable hand to slip and fall to the floor while attempting to move out of the way, causing the worker psychological trauma and soft tissue injuries.

The roadway was under development at the time of the incident.

The regulator attributed the incident to the roadway’s environmental conditions, including its steep longitudinal grade, slippery floor conditions and hard stone floor substrate.

Yancoal has since conducted a formal risk assessment that was focussed on the dangers associated with operating development face machinery and other mobile plant on roadways.

The company reviewed the safe operating limits of continuous miners and other development machinery; equipment testing by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM); continuous miner stability on different types of floor material; design requirements for underground roads; and risk to personnel and assets from developing roadways on grades.

Yancoal has also introduced a trigger action response plan for developing roads on grades and operating plant on grades.

The regulator recommended mining operators to review their operational risk assessments and consider the risk of mobile plant slippage; and review and risk assess the design and configuration of continuous miners.

It also encouraged operators to review and update operating procedures to ensure safe standing zones; ensure that hazardous conditions are sign posted in underground roadways; the inspection of roadway conditions; and provide appropriate information for operating continuous miners.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend