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Coal Inspectorate | Bulletin | No.193 V 1 | 03 March 2021

Falls from walkways and platforms

What happened?

Coal mine workers (CMWs) have fallen through a mesh walkway and a mesh platform in recent incidents reported to the Coal Mines Inspectorate. In both instances the CMWs required medical treatment, however the potential existed for injuries to have been far more serious.

Incident 1

On 27 January 2021, a CMW was walking on a coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) conveyor walkway. The section of steel mesh walkway the CMW was on failed and the CMW fell through. The CMW was able to lower himself to the ground through the open section of flooring using the handrails and adjacent steel structure for support. The worker was exposed to a potential fall of approximately two metres. The failed walkway and potential fall height are evident in the re-enactment shown in Figure 1.

Incident 2

On 4 February 2021, a CMW fell through a section of steel mesh floor. At the time of the incident a roller screen in a CHPP tertiary crushing station was being pulled back into position. The CMW walked behind the work area and fell through a section of floor mesh that wasn’t secured. The displaced mesh floor is shown in Figure 2. The CMW was able to stop the fall with his arms, however he potentially could have fallen 8.6 metres as depicted in Figure 3.

How did it happen?

Both incidents are still being investigated, however the following is known:

Other recent incidents

Key issues

Key issues to be addressed by the Site Senior Executive


Site Senior Executive to ensure that:

References and further information

Australian Standard, AS 1657: 2018:  Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders - Design, construction and installation

Surface coal mine worker falls from height; Mines safety alert, 09 July 2019

Authorised by Peter Newman - Chief Inspector – Coal

Contact: Anthony Logan, Senior Inspector of Mines (Mechanical) , +61 7 3199 8013

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is a guide only and 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.

All information on this page (Falls from walkways and platforms - is correct as of time of printing (17 Apr 2021 11:46 am).