Serious injuries on the rise in WA

SLIPS, trips, sprains, strains, dislocations, cuts, burns, amputations, breaks, fractures, crushes, tears, and hernias were among the 349 serious injuries reported in WA during 2005-06.

Slips, trips, sprains, strains, dislocations, cuts, burns, amputations, breaks, fractures, crushes, tears, and hernias were among the 349 serious injuries reported in WA during 2005-06 — an increase of 30 or 8.6% on the previous year.

The recently released report: Safety performance in the Western Australian mineral industry — accident and injury statistics 05—06 revealed the following typical serious injuries:

A gardener, planting Zamia nuts in a rehabilitation area, sprained his right shoulder after falling sideways onto a rip line. He was carrying 15 kg of Zamia nuts in two containers around his waist.

A development miner, boring holes underground with an air-leg drill, suffered severe lacerations and damage to his right forearm muscles and tendons when he was struck by a sharp piece of ore, which had deflected off the drill steel after falling from the backs.

A boilermaker, using a hydraulic power pack to remove a pin from a strut on a haul truck, sustained a high pressure oil injection injury to his hand when the hose on the power pack split and pressurised hydraulic oil penetrated his glove and hand.

A fitter tore a muscle in his left forearm while lifting a rubber liner into position for the primary scrubber in a treatment plant.

A train driver received a fractured left foot after the cut rail he was unclamping suddenly released and trapped his foot against a second piece of rail.

A pipe-fitter dislocated his right shoulder after extending his arm in an attempt to stop himself falling forward against a wall while carrying pipes and hooks underground.

A blast-hole drill operator on the deck of a drill rig sustained two crushed toes after a breakout spanner weighing 15 kg fell 8 m onto his left foot.

An exploration driller sustained partial amputations of his right index and middle fingers after a drill rod dropped onto his hand while he was changing a blow up sub on a drill rig.

A quarry labourer sustained serious lacerations after a piece of diamond wire being used for cutting nearby came out of the joiner, whipped back and broke off violently, striking her right leg.

A diesel motor mechanic, working on the steering of a dump truck, sustained a partial amputation of his right middle finger when his fingers were caught between a steering cylinder and a tie rod.

A fitter sustained two herniated discs in his lower back lifting a 10 kg plastic tool box.

A haul truck driver, checking his truck engine’s water level after the temperature light came on, suffered scalding burns to his head, body and legs.

A welder, cutting with an angle grinder, received a severe laceration to his hand when the angle grinder kicked back.

A fitter sustained fractures and lacerations to his hand and wrist when his hand was caught by the engine fan of a grader while he was inspecting the wiring harness.

A process plant operator tore the ligaments of his right knee when his knee caught in the rung of a ladder as he slipped.

A safety officer, undertaking a fire training exercise, received serious burns to his hands and face when material in a drum suddenly ignited and flashed back.

A process plant operator, moving a limestone block so it could be lifted by a crane, sustained a fractured right tibia with lacerations and bruising after he moved the block too far and it fell, pinning his right leg between the block and two pallets.

A track labourer sustained a crushed right index finger after his hand was caught under a piece of rail that was being lowered by a crane. He was attempting to retrieve something from under the rail.

A cleaner broke her ankle after slipping on a muddy path while leaving an accommodation room.

A fitter sustained a fractured left tibia after falling about 3 m when the ladder he was using slipped while he was attempting to fix the beacon light on a rubbish truck.

A driller’s offsider, working from an integrated tool carrier basket underground, sustained fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a broken left wrist when he was crushed against the backs after the operator accidentally raised the basket.

A process plant operator received a fractured neck after being involved in a light vehicle rollover. He was a

passenger in the vehicle at the time of accident.

A bricklayer, working inside a vessel in a treatment plant, sustained a fractured left rib and ruptured spleen when he was struck by a falling scaffolding plank.

A fuel and lubrication serviceman, carrying equipment behind a parked-up grader, fractured his left ankle after losing his balance and falling over.

A supervisor, using oxy-acetylene to cut rusted bolts from the cover of a crusher, received a burnt foot when a hot bolt fell into the top of his safety boot.

A conveyor belt repairer, replacing an old conveyor belt, sustained a fractured left tibia when his foot was caught between the belt and a roller as he attempted to move the old belt with his foot while the belt was moving.

A mine manager sustained a broken left femur and ruptured spinal discs when he was buried under a rock fall while inspecting a stope.

A process plant operator had several bones in his foot fractured when a 300 kg mill lifter rolled off a pallet onto his foot after a retaining strap was cut.

An underground nipper sustained a crushed left hand when it was caught between a front-end loader bucket and the backs of a drive. The entire base of his hand split open and required reconstructive surgery.

A leading hand dislocated his knee after falling on uneven ground while shifting pallets onto the rear of a utility vehicle tray.

A process plant operator twisted the ligaments in his knee after missing his footing while walking up the steps to a control room. He re-aggravated the injury a week later performing alternative duties.

A supervisor, standing on an office chair reaching for a can on top of a cupboard, sustained a severe shoulder strain when he fell from the chair after he overbalanced and the chair rolled out from beneath him.

A driller, trying to remove a plastic sample bag from the bottom of a splitter, dislocated his right shoulder and little finger when he attempted to pull his hand out after catching his finger in the grating on the sample trailer floor.

A boilermaker broke his left wrist when his arm was caught between the frame and the handle of a sliding fire

door after he pulled on the door to open it.

A fitter sustained an abdominal hernia while lifting a 40 kg front-end loader belly plate.

A trainee truck driver, sitting in the passenger seat of a truck while being trained, sustained a broken right femur when the truck rolled over after it was driven up a windrow on a ROM pad.

A jumbo operator fractured his ankle after rolling his foot on uneven ground. The operator had a pre-existing condition that contributed to the fracture.

An electrical supervisor, replacing a butterfly valve at the base of an elution column, sustained an amputation of his right ring and little fingers after the butterfly gate slammed shut on his hand. Air had leaked from a closed air valve and pressurised the butterfly valve actuator, causing the valve to close.

A drill operator, removing a drill bit from the deck using a wire rope winch, sustained a crushed middle finger when the wire rope tensioned and caught his hand between the rope and a drill rod.

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