A mine worker killed at the Cadia Ridgeway gold mine two weeks ago was alone for more than an hour before his body was discovered, prompting recommendations for regular monitoring of lone staff members at work.
A preliminary report into the death the 28 year-old miner on 6 September 2015 said he was last seen by colleagues at 9pm, when he was working alone with a Jacon Maxijet shotcrete machine.
The machine had been converted to function as a water cannon to blast hung-up material from a stope to fall into a draw point, and was operated by remote control.
The report said it appeared that during the task there was a “rapid movement of rock and material from the draw point into the extraction drive” which struck the front of the Jacon and pushed it backwards, trapping the worker between the machine and the side wall of the extraction drive.
The preliminary report has recommended that systems should be implemented to ensure that people working alone are regularly monitored.
With the well-known risks of sudden movement of material from draw points that are choked or hung up, the report stated that control measures should include sufficient bunds to prevent movement of material, safe standing/operating zones for mobile machine operators, and safe means of egress in case of incident.
Investigation into the circumstances of this accident are ongoing, with co-operation from mine owner Newcrest, and a full report will be prepared by the secretary of NSW Department of Industry.