Safety report into mine workshop roller shutter injury

The Western Australian DMP has issued a report into an incident which left a fitter with serious head injuries after he was struck by a roller shutter door.

The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has issued a report into an incident which left a fitter with serious head injuries after he was struck by a roller shutter door.

The worker was on an elevated work platform removing the roller shutter assembly at a minesite workshop, when he was struck in the head by a support bracket.

According to the DMP, the roller shutter assembly, weighing in at 800 kg, consisted of a roller curtain attached to a drum casing, which was connected to an internal shaft.

The shutter is secured to the building by support brackets attached at each end of the shaft.

When the worker removed the final bolt from one of the support brackets, the bracket spun and struck the fitter in the head.

According to the DMP, the fitter was wearing a safety helmet and safety glasses, but the glasses were hit by the bracket and may have mitigated the extent of the injuries.

There have been previous serious and fatal accidents involving roller shutters in industrial and domestic applications, the Department said.

According to the DMP, while the work team recognised the danger of electrical energy and isolated the electricity, they did identify the hazard of stored mechanical energy in the bracket.

Similarly, the work team had not performed this specific task before and were not trained to do it, because it was not a routine task and no procedures were in place.

The DMP recommends in the future all staff be properly trained and experienced in performing this task.

Warning signs should also be installed to identify the hazard of stored mechanical energy and roller shutters should be engineered to minimise this risk.

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