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Coal Inspectorate | Bulletin | No.217 V 1 | 11 December 2023

Dozer operator risks their life by driving into a water body

What happened?

A bulldozer working on a coal floor in the Moranbah region has entered a body of water and walked through it towards the back of the pit. The bulldozer has walked off an edge created by the coal floor being excavated at two different levels, before water covered the floor of the pit (refer to Figure 1).  The investigation for this incident has now closed with a number of recommendations listed below.

How did it happen?

On the night shift prior to the incident, coal mine workers (CMWs) and their supervisors were dealing with water ingress into the working area. A body of water at the far end of the pit was held back by a solid coal rib.

The night shift operators took a first cut of approximately four metres in depth in front of the coal rib. As water entered the working area a decision was made to reduce the cut depth to three metres and continue to raise it in a sloped manner as the water level increased.

At the end of the night shift a bund was installed to delineate the areas affected by water and the areas still dry and available for mining. Before the day shift started, the edge created by the change in cut height was completely concealed by water.

The day shift dozer operator walked the bulldozer through the bund and entered the body of water. As the machine walked further towards the back of the pit it fell off the water covered edge that had been created by the night shift mining activities.

Key issues

The investigation identified that:


Site Senior Executives should:

CMWs should:

Authorised by Jacques le Roux - Chief Inspector – Coal

Contact: Stephen Smith, Regional Inspector of Mines , +61 7 3199 8001

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 (Dozer operator risks their life by driving into a water body - is correct as of time of printing (Mar 3, 2024 2:11 am).