Mines safety alert no. 382 | 06 November 2020 | Version 1
Excavator Access Ladder Causes Foot Injury
Recently on a Central Queensland Surface Coal Mine an excavator retractable access ladder was in the process of lifting, when a coal mine worker (CMW) positioned themselves near the top of the ladder, facing the machine room wall. The ladder completed its lifting cycle and trapped the workers foot between the floor and the rotating handrail (refer re-enactment photo).
How did it happen?
The ladder control switch design did not require the operator to be in contact with the control whilst the stairs were operating. The operator can move away from the switch once movement has started.
Mine operators are advised to audit all retractable access ladders on their equipment for similar issues, both implementation of a Dead Man's Switch and identification of nip points and rectify in conjunction with the OEM where required.
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.
It is recommended that all surface mines implement equipment access ladder switches that require the operator to be in control of the switch at all times the ladder is in operation and stops if at any time the operator's hand is not on the switch (dead man's switch).
In its final upper resting position, the handrail was very close to the floor, creating a configuration where a foot or other body part can be trapped.
Equipment: Caterpillar 6040 Excavator
Hazard: Mechanical / Caught in Nip Point
Contact: Theo Kahl, Inspector of Mines , +61 7 4936 0127 QldMinesInspectorate@rshq.qld.gov.au
Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland
General: This information is a guide only. 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.