Mines inspector releases report on Saraji blast accident

The Queensland Mines Inspectorate has published its investigation into the blasting accident at BMA's Saraji mine that destroyed a Cat D10 dozer and damaged a 996 digger.

While no workers were injured in the accident last month, a dozer parked in the equipment zone was crushed by massive chunks of overburden.

The Mines Inspectorate said the blast had been stronger than it needed to be, which was a contributing factor to the accident.

"The aim of the blast was to 'just lift' the material and drop it back down," it said.

"It was not designed as a cast blast. However the shot, which contained 400 tonnes of explosive, moved the large block of material more than 90m."

Inspectors said an investigation also found the dozer had not been excluded from the blast zone, as BMA's safety rules dictate.

"As a result of this failure to enforce equipment exclusion zones, the unplanned and uncontrolled movement of blasted rock damaged the machines," inspectors said.

Following the investigation four recommendations were handed to BMA and the wider mining industry.

1) All mines review their principle hazard management plan and standard operating procedures on blasting and explosives usage to ensure their systems will prevent this type of incident.

2) All mines develop a pre-firing check sheet to help shot firers ensure all required controls are in place, especially those related to where people and equipment are relative to the blast exclusion zone.

3) All mines review blast design plans to ensure they meet the intended outcome of the blast.

4) All mines review the effectiveness of the pre-firing control check list and the blast plan after blasting

The inspectorate also said it was also important to ensure two-way communication was part of the final pre-blast controls.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.