Fire ball engulfs workers

THE Queensland Department of Mines and Energy (DME) has issued a safety bulletin after two mine workers received serious burns in an underground mine

THE Queensland Department of Mines and Energy (DME) has issued a safety bulletin after two mine workers received serious burns in an underground mine.

A fire ball from the chute doors of a train load-out bin engulfed the workers while they were conducting operational checks on a train load-out, according to the bulletin.

“During welding on the bin walls, welding slag or hot metal has become dislodged from the inside of the bin and fallen onto residual coal dust,” mines inspector Graham Callinan said.

“Once the chute doors were opened, air flowing through the bin raised a dust cloud that ignited glowing embers, causing the fire ball,” he said.

Callinan recommends that all mine workers should be made aware of potential dust explosion hazards, and a formal risk assessment be undertaken before hot work is conducted on coal bins.

“A thorough cleaning regime must be established prior to any hot work,” Callinan said.

“If hot work is to be conducted on a coal bin, the chute doors must be open during the cleaning process,” he said.

Key contact:

Graham Callinan

Inspector of Mines

Graham.Callinan@dme.qld.gov.au

www.dme.qld.gov.au

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