Narrow escape from mobile plant fire

A SALT harvester operator has escaped serious injury after being trapped in his cabin when a fire broke out in the machine.

A SALT harvester operator has escaped serious injury after being trapped in his cabin when a fire broke out in the machine.

While attempting to escape from the harvester, the operator was unable to exit by the cabin door due to the heat from the flames.

In the absence of a second egress, the operator was forced to break the front windscreen of the cabin, exit the machine via the front access platform and use the cross travel conveyor to jump across onto a full salt trailer, which was moved into position to allow this.

The operator received a laceration to the right lower leg from the broken windscreen and was extremely lucky not to be trapped, according to Resources Safety — a division of the WA Department of Consumer and Employment Protection.

The harvester was a modified, experimental machine being developed by the company.

There was no fire suppression equipment installed on the harvester at the time of the incident.

Resources Safety has issued several recommendations on mobile plant safety in Mines Safety Significant Incident Report No. 147 Fire and entrapment hazard on mobile plant (salt harvester).

Resources Safety

ResourcesSafety@docep.wa.gov.au

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