The Queensland Mines Inspectorate has released a safety alert after a loader operator sustained fatal injuries when the mucking unit he was operating entered an open bench stope void.
According to the Inspectorate, at the time of the incident, the operator was delivering backfill to the underground bench stope and tipping over a solid edge.
He entered the stope from the fill point (top of the bench) and the unit came to rest on a rill at the base of the stope; a fall of approximately 20 metres.
The Inspectorate recommends mines review current control measures, considering the hierarchy of controls, to prevent equipment falling into voids while working near void edges or over unconsolidated ground.
“Ensure competent mine planning to minimise undercutting of void edges and minimise removal of material which may create unknown voids on interconnecting levels (backfill slumps),” the Inspectorate said.
Mines should also ensure void edges are known and stable and conduct appropriate supervision and monitoring, according to the Inspectorate.
The incident is currently under investigation