Fatalities up in Western Australia

A PROJECT manager, a drill jumbo operator, an electrician, a charge-up operator, and a blast hole drill operator accounted for the five fatalities in the mining industry in Western Australia in 2005-06.

A project manager, a drill jumbo operator, an electrician, a charge-up operator, and a blast hole drill operator accounted for the five fatalities in the mining industry in Western Australia in 2005-06.

The recently released report: Safety performance in the Western Australian mineral industry — accident and injury statistics 05—06 revealed that the five mining industry employees lost their lives during the year, three more than the previous year.

The project manager died after becoming trapped between the trays of two haul trucks at a gold mine. One of the haul trucks had broken down and another haul truck was being manoeuvred into position to enable jumper cables to be connected to re-start the disabled haul truck. The manager was standing on the cab decking of the disabled haul truck directing the driver of the other haul truck who was watching the manager’s hand signals in order to get as close as possible. The manager was looking down and as the gap between the vehicles narrowed his head was caught and crushed between the trays of the trucks.

The drill jumbo operator died in an underground gold mine after a rock weighing about one tonne fell from the backs, striking his head, shoulders and back. He was assisting another drill jumbo operator during ground support operations and was in the process of placing a split set rock bolt onto a boom of the twin boom drill jumbo when the rock fell from behind an area of mesh that had not been pinned to the backs.

The electrician was electrocuted while attempting to restore a dewatering pump to working condition in a pump chamber in an underground nickel mine. A supervisor found the deceased lying face up on the floor in front of the open pump starter box with a plastic termination shroud and a screwdriver nearby. A subsequent inspection of the pump starter box identified that the pump circuit was switched on at the time of the accident.

The senior charge-up operator received fatal injuries when an explosion occurred while he was attempting to assemble an impact cannon adjacent to a hung up ore pass in an underground nickel mine. The deceased had intended to use the cannon to fire an explosive projectile into the ore pass. Evidence indicates that the projectile detonated in the barrel of the cannon.

The blast hole drill operator received fatal injuries at night when the tray-back truck he was driving collided with the back of a truck parked near an open pit gold mine workshop. Two drill rods protruding from the tray of the parked truck speared through the operator’s windscreen and struck him, causing massive injuries. The operator was treated at a hospital but succumbed to his injuries two days later.

Resources Safety — Publications

WA Department of Consumer and Employment Protection

ResourcesSafety@docep.wa.gov.au

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