Concern over shuttle cars

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has conducted a review of unplanned movements of shuttle cars, where the shuttle car has moved in either a forward or reverse direction contrary to the operator’s intention.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has conducted a review of unplanned movements of shuttle cars, where the shuttle car has moved in either a forward or reverse direction contrary to the operator’s intention.

This review encompassed the period 1 July 2005 to 31 March 2008.

There have been 28 events recorded in the NSW DPI database.

Problems with the shuttle car footswitch contributed to 22 of those events.

Shuttle cars operate in an underground environment with restricted space.

An unplanned movement of a very small distance has the potential to cause death.

All coal operations using shuttle cars should review their risk controls associated with the use of shuttle cars. In particular:

· Identify sources of unplanned movements

· Identify and implement risk controls in accordance with the hierarchy of controls to bring the risk from unplanned movement to a tolerable level

· Develop and implement a safety requirements specification for shuttle cars to incorporate the identified risk controls

· Develop commissioning, testing, maintenance and repair actions to provide for ongoing confidence that the identified risk controls are effective

· Develop operational procedures, including supervision, and management audit and review, to provide for ongoing confidence that the risk is at a tolerable level

Further attention is drawn to Safety Alert SA06-01 Dangerous Unplanned movements Shuttle Cars and Continuous Miners.

Rob Regan

Director

Mine Safety Operations Branch

NSW Department of Primary Industries

mine.safetyalert@dpi.nsw.gov.au

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