Mine sites are a hive of activity, with various types of machinery and vehicles of all sizes sharing access roads, loading ramps and haul ways.
Light vehicles such as 4 wheel drives are often hidden and obscured from view by drivers of large haul trucks and represent one of the biggest hazards, especially for people who are new to a mining environment.Sadly a contractor’s life was lost over the weekend in a 2 vehicle incident, once again highlighting the need to be extra-vigilant on a mine site whilst driving.
The mining industry is a very dangerous injury but these incidents shouldn`t happen
The fatal accident occurred at the GlencoreXstrata`s Ravensworth open cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.
The 38-year-old contractor, who was employed by the Skilled Group, was crushed when the light vehicle she was driving collided with a dump truck just before midnight.
It is understood the operator was a trainee and had only been onsite since early 2013.
Safety investigations indicate the driver turned through a giveway sign onto a major haul way, and was travelling in the same direction as the fully loaded dump truck, wedging the vehicle underneath the truck.
The CFMEU district president Peter Jordan told Australian Mining the incident happened around crib break time.
Mr Jordan said he though this was the first time there had been a female fatality in the coal industry.
An immediate call for an investigation into the industry`s transport rules has been initiated, to accurately educate haul truck drivers and mine site workers of the dangers and way light vehicles interact with large equipment.
GlencoreXstrata spokesperson said its primary concern is for the safety and welfare of all of its employees and made a point of telling the press that management is talking to every crew member as they arrive onsite and operations will not be resuming until management is convinced workers are in the right frame of mind.
Mine operations have been halted since the fatality.
iMINCO sends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and relatives.
Mining represent the biggest risk
iMINCO recently reported on a story relating to contractors in the mining industry presenting the biggest risk in terms of fatalities. It has been highlighted by Mining Queensland that 90 percent of fatal accidents on a mine site will involve contractors. This latest mining accident at the GlencoreXstrata Singleton mine is another unfortunate reminder that this is a strong fact that can’t be ignored.
This recent fatality will once again prompt a new review of the mining safety training, haul truck driving training, 4 wheel driver awareness training risk assessment and a total rethink of mining induction, especially for drivers of all types of vehicles that are on site.
Queensland Mine Safety and Health Commissioner Stewart Bell said mining contractors should have access to the same driver training and procedural safety training as company employees. Contractors can generally assigned to mining projects and tasks that are out of the ordinary and involve a higher level of risk than would normally be needed.
New recruits to the mining industry are especially vulnerable and represent a high-risk and therefore need to be reminded on a frequent basis of the hidden dangers that could end up being the cause of a loss of life.
Learn more about the Bowen Basin mining location.
The Bowen Basin contains the largest coal reserves in Australia. This major coal producing region contains one of the worldâ€™s largest deposits of bituminous coal.
The Basin contains much of the known Permian coal resources in Queensland including virtually all of the known mineable prime coking coal. It was named for the Bowen River, itself named after Queenslandâ€™s first Governor, Sir George Bowen.
The Bowen Basin covers an area of over 60,000 square kilometres in Central Queensland running from Collinsville to Theodore and is dotted with many coal mines operated by multiple mining companies.
Caterpillar Haul truck 793
The 793F has a load cpacityof 226.8 ton (US) and a top speed of 60 kilometres an hour. It's a turbocharged air-to-air aftercooled diesel engine that has enhanced power management capability for maximum hauling performance. The C175-16 is a 16-cylinder, four-stroke design that uses long, effective power strokes for optimum efficiency.
The 793F, is an autonomous-driven truck. Over 100 793F trucks are now operating via Command for hauling, the Cat autonomous truck operations system, which is a part of Cat MineStarâ„˘
Read more about the CAT 793 automomous mining dump truck on our website.
Resources and Infrastructure Industry (RII)
Commonly refered to as Black Coal Competency (BCC), the RII competency is one that can be attained by an operator who has previously worked in the industry and has completed a number of operating hours on various types of machinery.
RII competency is granted to prove correct and safe operation of mine site machinery. It is a very useful qualification to have, as it confirms the operator has the required experience and expertise.
You can transfer your nationally recognised civil Excavator, Front End Loader or Dozer tickets only to RII Black Coal Competencies.