Telfer accident linked to EWP controls

The accident at the Telfer mine which killed 28 year-old
worker Josh Martin on 15 May was found to have taken place in a charge-up
basket.

Significant incident report 217 released by the DMP yesterday
showed Martin was fatally injured when the charge-up basket or elevated work
platform moved upwards, crushing him against the roof of a cross cut, cited as
the direct cause of the accident.

The DMP report said it appeared Martin was leaning over the
front of the basket “when he accidentally activated the control stick for raising
and lowering the basket”.

Martin was not alone at the time of the accident, and was
accompanied by an offsider who was helping to guide the charge up hose into the
blast holes.

It was identified by investigators that the deadman switch
for the controls was located on top of the control stick, meaning downward
force on the button allowed the machine to continue operating.

The DMP report stated that at Newcrest’s Telfer mine,
charging-up was typically performed by a single person, and that the offsider
present was not tasked with spotting the machine, and was not trained in the
operation of the EWP.

Australian Mining has contacted Newcrest and Dyno Nobel for clarification of their safe work practices relating to EWP operation.

The DMP investigation team has recommended that the
potential for workers to be crushed between the basket and adjacent structures
should be addressed in safe work methodology planning, and that EWPs must be
inspected to assess the potential for accidental activation of the controls.

The report also said the mine operator should “ensure those
involved in work using EWPs are familiar with their operation and the use of
emergency controls”.

It was also recommended that the design of EWPs should take
into account the location of controls and how they will be used to prevent
accidental activation.

The DMPs investigation is ongoing.

Last year in June rigger
Mark Galton
was killed under similar circumstances, while operating an EWP at
the Boggabri mine construction project in NSW.

While engaged in steel erection activities Galton was
operating an EWP from within the basket when he became pinned between the
basket and an overhanging steel structure, which resulted in fatal crush
injuries.

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