Safety alert for airleg miners

The Western Australian Coroner has recommended new safety measures for airleg miners after concluding an investigation into the death of a worker in September 2008.

The Western Australian Coroner has recommended new safety measures for airleg miners after concluding an investigation into the death of a worker in September 2008.

The recommendations were released in a safety bulletin from the State’s Department of Mines and Petroleum.

According to the bulletin, the miner was struck by a large rock while drilling stripping holes in the sidewall of his work area.

The rock fell from the point of intersection of the backs and sidewall.

At the inquest, there was debate about the adequacy of the ground support and the lighting available to the worker as well as the clarity of any written instructions.

According to the Coroner, the miner’s standard cap-lamp may have been insufficient to distinguish between two rock types of very similar appearance. Similarly, sufficient lighting may have helped him identify rock structures that could potentially fall if not adequately supported.

The Coroner recommended that additional light sources be made available to assist in determining different structures and rock types.

He also suggested mine managers should provide airleg miners with a short document which “clearly identifies the precise extent of ground support required.”

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