Worker suffers fractured skull at sand mine

A worker has suffered a skull fracture after falling from an articulated dump truck.

The incident occurred in February, at Sibelco’s Salt Ash sand plant.

The plant operator was preparing to unload a Volvo A30 ADT that had been transported to the site on a low loader.

During preparation the operator accessed the top of the right front wheel arch to adjust the side mirror, and upon making the adjustment turned and walked towards the access steps, missing them and falling from the vehicle.

While the left side of the vehicle has access grab handles for the steps and handles for the platform next to the driver’s door, the right side does not have a handrail for the platform, although two grab handles had been installed.

“The plant operator appears to have turned to face the rear of the dump truck and walked to the top of the access step where he has turned his upper body and reached for the gran handle on his right with his left hand,” the NSW Department of Industry has stated in its investigation of the incident.

“While twisting to reach the grab handle he has fallen to the ground level below the loader.”

It is understood while the height of ADT wheel arch platform to ground level is only around 1.8 metres, the height added by the low loader meant the platform was now 2.7 metres from the ground.

Immediately following the incident the operator was attended to by emergency services at the mine and transported to a nearby hospital.

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