Shock from electrostatic discharge

THE Queensland Mines Inspectorate has issued a safety bulletin after a drill rig operator in the Bowen Basin coalfields suffered sever electrostatic shock after contacting an electrostatically-charged PVC pipe.

The Queensland Mines Inspectorate has issued a safety bulletin after a drill rig operator in the Bowen Basin coalfields suffered sever electrostatic shock after contacting an electrostatically-charged PVC pipe.

“As the operator was climbing onto the driller’s operating platform, he had one foot on the platform and the other on or near the PVC pipe,” Chief Inspector of Mines Gavin Taylor said.

“He felt the shock through his legs and it also caused him to fall over. The magnitude of the shock caused the operator severe pain and he felt ill. He was taken to hospital and put under observation for several hours.”

The Inspectorate issued several recommendations to prevent similar incidents including the use of anti-static pipes and hoses for attachments to a Washington diverter on a drill rig.

Other recommendations included using earthing strap/cables between the pipes, rig and ground, using metallic pipes, and where possible, avoidance of dry drilling.

Key contact:

Peter Herbert

Inspector of Mines

07 4967 0863

Peter.Herbert@dme.qld.gov.au

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