Australia: Mines warned after fatal Perth haul truck tragedy - - PressFrom - Australia

AustraliaMines warned after fatal Perth haul truck tragedy

08:05  01 september  2019
08:05  01 september  2019 Source:

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Mines warned after fatal Perth haul truck tragedy© Supplied. The truck fell 15 metres down the pit wall in June.

WA mine safety inspectors have urged miners to look at the design of their haul roads following the tragic death of a truck driver at a quarry north of Perth this year.

Mines warned after fatal Perth haul truck tragedy
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The driver died after his 110 tonne haul truck fell 15 metres down the pit wall of the Hanson quarry in Red Hill on June 20.

An initial Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety investigation into the incident found a number of factors contributed to the accident, including the narrowness of the road and the design of the mound of dirt used as a barrier on the road's edge, known as a windrow.

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"At this stage of the investigation, the following is evident: the loaded truck entered a singlelane section of roadway with two narrow points," investigators said. "When it reached the second narrow point, the truck's right side wheels rode up and over the windrow.

"As it straddled the windrow, its forward movement was initially arrested with the right side wheels over the crest edge, but the truck then slid over the edge falling 15 metres to the lower bench."

Inspectors said the 'step-in' reduced the width of the road by 20 per cent for 25 metres and it was on the driver's offside, which reduced his visibility of it.

The size and shape of the windrow, and adjacent material buildup, also assisted the truck's wheels to ride up over it.

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The number of fatal accidents involving trucks is higher when compared to all other mining equipment. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports that 137 fatalities were Trucks are the primary means of haulage in surface coal, metal, and nonmetal mining operations.

Inspectors also noted a lack of demarcation or signage in the area and it occurred between dawn and sunrise when the light was changing, affecting visibility.

The department issued a number of actions for other miners to avoid tragedies such as the Red Hill accident.

"Haul roads should be designed to make it easier for trucks to navigate safely. Blasting and excavating should be planned so as to avoid introducing hazards," inspectors said.

Inspectors encouraged miners to build windrows with the right shape, size and material for the location.

"High risk areas require larger barriers to prevent a vehicle from going over the edge," they said.

"The windrow should delineate where the truck should be on the haul road and be an adequate distance from the edge.

"Design of windrows and traffic management of vehicles operating around windrows should takeinto account the angle at which equipment operates and any vehicle blind spots in relation tothe windrow.

"Regularly inspect and maintain windrows and remove any build up of material that wouldreduce effective windrow height or provide an intermediate ramp up onto the windrow."

They also said adequate signage and demarcation should be in place and cameras and other sensors should be used for blind spots.

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