Miner injured in underground accident

A supervisor has suffered crush injuries in a Western Australian underground mine after he was pinned between two vehicles.

The incident, which occurred in December, saw the worker accidentally crushed between an integrated tool carrier (IT) and a long hole drill.

The IT was parked in an underground main access level while three workers, and the supervisor, were inspecting the vehicle’s damaged man basket, according to the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum.

Two light vehicles were also parked in an adjacent stockpile.

All of the stopped vehicles had their lights on and flashing beacons.

As the IT was being inspected a long hole drill was tramming – horseshoe first – towards the workers to reach its next drill location.

“While the drill operator was looking for an area to turn the rig around (to tram engine first) the horseshoe made contact with the IT’s basket,” the DMP said.

“It appears there was not attempt to communicate with the drill rig operator before his vehicle made contact with the IT.

“The supervisor – who was facing the basket, taking photographs at the front of the IT – was pinned between the basket and the long hole rig’s horseshoe and hydraulic hoses.

“Colleagues provided first aid to the injured supervisor until the site ambulance arrived and brought him to the surface. He was transferred to the local hospital for assessment where he underwent surgery for crush injuries to his lower abdomen.

Luckily the man’s injuries were limited to severe bruising, which only required internal stitches.

In the DMP’s subsequent investigation it pointed to the IT stopping in a high traffic area of the main level access and workers gathered around the IT as direct causes of the incident.

It added that a lack of communication, the drill operator’s field of view being obstructed by tramming horseshoe first, and a failure to manage risks associated with congestion and mobile plant  egressing underground levels as all contributory causes to the accident.



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