Longwall relocation prompts safety alert

THE Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has released a safety alert after a near-miss incident during a longwall relocation in NSW.

THE Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has released a safety alert after a near-miss incident during a longwall relocation in NSW.

According to the DPI, a fitter removed a manifold staple while setting up hydraulic supply lines on a longwall face.

The plug was ejected from the fitting, which caused fluid to escape from a pressurised hose in close proximity to a number of employees.

Initial investigations suggest the valve seal had failed and caused significant pressure build-up in the circuit.

It is believed the isolation ball valve was left partially open, which caused wear and erosion of the seal during normal longwall operation.

The DPI is urging mines to review their isolation training and procedures to ensure no pressure is stored in hydraulic circuits before commencing work.

Management should also review the installation of pressure gauges at isolation points to ensure all pressure is dissipated.

The DPI says mines should reassess mine maintenance schedules to check, inspect and test isolation valves and also investigate alternative methods of slow-fitting hydraulic circuits to prevent shock loading.

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