Accident raises questions of vehicle suitability

An accident at a zinc mine in Queensland has raised questions about using on-highway trucks on mine sites.

An accident at Xstrata Zinc’s George Fisher mine in Queensland has highlighted the question of using on-highway trucks in underground and on-surface mining situations, the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy (DME) said in a statement.

According to the DME, a worker seriously injured on Monday morning was forced to jump from his concrete agitator truck as it ran uncontrolled down a decline.

The department has recommended all mining operations examine their procedures for determining the suitability of on-highway vehicles used on their sites.

Issues to be considered include, vehicle braking systems, including maintenance and inspection regimes; adherence with vehicle manufacturers specifications for loads and gradients; roadway construction; operator training, including operations in emergency situations; and operating procedures such as speed limits and gear selection.

The DME plans to issue a directive to all Queensland underground metalliferous mines requiring a review of their systems relating to use of on-highway vehicles to prevent the risk of use of such vehicles reaching unacceptable levels.

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