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Explosives Inspectorate | Alert | No.114 V 1 | 09 January 2024

Faulty alternator catches fire on SSAN transport

What happened?

An AB-triple combination fully loaded with security sensitive ammonium nitrate (SSAN) emulsion, parked at the mine security gate, had a failed alternator bearing resulting in a fire.

The operator called an emergency as per mine site procedure, and successfully deployed a fire extinguisher against the fire.

How did it happen?

The investigation identified that a failed bearing in the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) fitted alternator caused the fire.

Key issues

  • This incident highlights the potential for the alternators to prematurely fail, leading to an unexpected fire.
  • Further enquiry by RSHQ identified 5 other cases of similar bearing failure in alternators with less than 12 months service.


To prevent a recurrence of this type of significant incident the following recommendations are made:

  • Regularly check for recall notices by the manufacturer and   replace as required.
  • A regular inspection regime is recommended, including   removing the belt and checking the alternator for movement or noise.
  • Drivers to be informed of any defects and provided clear   instructions regarding their responses or actions.

Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.

We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.

References and further information

A. Explosives Act 1999
B. Explosives Regulation 2017

Authorised by Vishwa Bhushan - Deputy Chief Inspector – Explosives

Contact: Haydn Isaac, Principal Inspector of Explosives , +61 7 4936 0142

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.
Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy, understand the content, findings and recommendations as applicable to their operation. SSEs should validate that recommendations have been implemented.