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Mines safety alert no. 286 | 08 May 2012 | Version 1

Coal mine worker hit by loose discharge hose

What happened?

An electrician checking for fluid leaks on a longwall pump sled in an underground coal mine was struck in the face by the loose discharge hose which also sprayed him with hydraulic emulsion fluid.

How did it happen?

The pump pressure relief valve discharge hose normally feeds through floor plates to discharge to an area below the walk plates of the pump cart. In this case, the discharge valve on the pump sled operated, releasing energy that caused the hose—which was unrestrained—to move around, hit the electrician and spray the fluid. The hose was found outside the confines of the pump cart.

This is another in a series of incidents related to high pressure hydraulic fluids on longwalls, which have already resulted in the release of Safety Alerts 241 and 271. Controlling hazards from the use of high pressure hydraulic systems is essential. Poor design, including hose layout and hose retention design, were major contributing factors to this incident.

Recommendations

  • All high pressure hydraulic hose assemblies that are accessible to personnel should be suitably restrained to prevent unplanned movement and injury.
  • Periodic audits of similar installations be conducted to ensure best practice hose layout and retention.
  • All personnel working in and around high pressure hydraulic installations should be trained in the hazards that are present and in hazard recognition and rectification.
  • Effectiveness of fitting diffuser-type devices to relief valve discharge hoses be investigated.
  • Site protocols for management of suspected fluid injection injuries be well established.

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 Herbert - A/Manager Safety and Health, Central Region

Contact:

Issued by Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines

Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy.