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Coal Inspectorate | Alert | No.420 V 1 | 14 December 2022

Bulldozer drops into a void above a conveyor feed valve point

What happened?

A bulldozer working on a coal stockpile dropped into a void above a conveyor feed valve point.

How did it happen?

During preparation of the stockpile for train loading, the location of the feed valve was miscalculated.

The feed valve location was not available on the GPS system in the bulldozer.

External reference points used by bulldozer operators to locate the feed valves were inaccurate.

Coal taken through the feed valve to the load out bin created a rathole, because the void did not reach the stockpile surface.

The coal bridge above the void failed beneath the weight of the bulldozer (see Figures 1 and 2).

Key issues


All Site Senior Executives should:

All operators should:

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.

Authorised by Peter Newman - Chief Inspector – Coal

Contact: Stephen Smith, Regional Inspector of Mines , 0436 658 225

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.

All information on this page (Bulldozer drops into a void above a conveyor feed valve point - is correct as of time of printing (Dec 3, 2023 9:20 pm).