Light vehicle and loader collide on coal mine

A front end loader has reversed into a light vehicle at Whitehaven’s coal mine’s CHPP.

The incident occurred on 12 March, eight hours into the shift, fortunately no one was injured.

Only two employees were working at the coal stockpile area at Whitehaven’s Coal Handling and Preparation Plant at the time, with the leading hand operating a Cat 992 front end loader.

“At the time of the incident,” a report released by the NSW Mine Safety Investigation Unit stated, “one of the contract haulage trucks became dry bogged on a coal stockpile.”

“The loader operator parked the loader near the bogged truck and left the operator’s cabin to inspect the two pin on the back of the loader.

“At the same time the operator of the dual cab Toyota Hilux light vehicle arrived at the stockpile area to swap with the loader operator so that the loader operator could take a meal break.”

The mine’s rules require all vehicles entering the CHPP to establish positive communications with mobile plant operating the CHP before entering it.

The Hilux driver attempted to do this at the CHPP entry point, but received no response.

They reported there was heavy radio traffic at the time due to the bogged haul trick, despite few employees being on site.

The Hilux driver also failed to park in the designated area and instead parked it next to the loader.

While this was happening, the loader operator returned to the vehicle and began reversing, as the light vehicle driver was getting out of the Hilux.

“The loader’s front right wheel skimmed the light vehicle near the driver’s door and the loader bucket impacted the rear of the vehicle before it stopped,” the report stated.

“The light vehicle operator then drove the damaged vehicle away from the loader.

“Both operators were shaken by the incident.”

The NSW Mine Safety Investigation Unit has commenced an investigation.



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