Haul truck fires followed by social media discipline

A haul truck fire at the Collie coal mine has resulted in a disciplinary investigation of the social media use of employees who photographed the incident.

ABC reported that the female driver escaped unharmed from her haul truck after it caught fire, and was photographed by an employee from outside the pit.

Two photographs of the fire were posted on the Mining Mayhem Facebook page, and it is understood that seven employees are now facing disciplinary action from their employer, Premier Coal, relating to social media use.

The Mining Mayhem post reported the truck manufacturer as Liebherr, however an individual claiming to be an employee of Liebherr contacted Australian Mining to state that the vehicle pictured was not a Liebherr truck.

Premier Coal said disciplinary action relating to inappropriate social media use was not specifically related to the truck fire.

There have been other fire incidents on the site, with a spokesman for Premier Coal saying there had also been fires involving “machinery” and a bulldozer.

"It's unfortunate timing but they are not in any way related," he said.

Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray said he was concerned about the safety issue at stake.

"These trucks are four or five times bigger than a caravan and if they burn from one end it's very hard to get off them, or you've got to jump over the side and certainly risk injury from there,” he said.

"I'm hearing they are old stock and there may be some maintenance issues, I'm not quite sure on that.

"We can not afford to be risking people's lives."

"There's an occasional fire in a truck but certainly not four in a couple of weeks, that is just far too many."

Murray, who has approached the Department of Mines and Petroleum to conduct an urgent inquiry, said he had been told that workers were drug and alcohol tested after the fires.

"It becomes a blame game and not fixing the problem," Murray said.

"It tends to be putting the pressure back on the worker and not the management. I think that's just an appalling way to go about it.

“Let's have an inquiry, let's have it open and honest, and fix the problem."

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