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Coal Inspectorate | Alert | No.428 V 1 | 25 May 2023

Coal mine worker seriously injured undertaking conveyor belt repairs – Investigation summary

What happened?

On 7 September 2021 a Coal Mine Worker (CMW) was seriously injured when struck by a section of conveyor belt whilst undertaking repairs to an underground coal mine conveyor belt. This bulletin presents information and learnings from the investigation completed by the Queensland Mines Inspectorate.

How did it happen?

Earlier, during the night shift, the conveyor belt tripped during production. Inspections of the conveyor belt by CMWs identified damaged clips and found the belt to be folded over on itself from the jib pulley and for approximately one pillar inbye. CMWs were allocated to replace a belt clip in the conveyor belt loop take-up area and other CMWs, including the injured CMW, commenced unfolding the belt working from outbye the conveyor drivehead towards the jib pulley.

A diagram of the incident site is shown in Figure 1.

The damaged inbye conveyor was suspended from the mine roof and during production transports and transfers longwall coal to the outbye conveyor.

At the time of the incident, the injured CMW was standing on the outbye conveyor belt as shown in Figure 1. He was attempting to unfold the conveyor belting at the jib using pincers and a chain block.

The chainblock and pincers are shown in Figure 2.

Under tension, the pincers came free from the belt causing the belt to flip back. The CMW was struck on the side of the head. He fell, landing on the belt with his arm and upper torso between the guarding and the structure of the outbye conveyor belt.

An emergency response was initiated and the injured CMW was transported to the hospital.

Key issues

The investigation identified that:


All Site Senior Executives (SSEs) 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 Jacques le Roux - Chief Inspector – Coal

Contact: Anthony Logan, Senior Inspector of Mines (Mechanical) , 0477 373 213

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 (Coal mine worker seriously injured undertaking conveyor belt repairs – Investigation summary - is correct as of time of printing (31 May 2023 8:38 pm).