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Coal Inspectorate | Alert | No.406 V 1 | 27 March 2022

Fatal accident underground working with suspended load

What happened?

Coal mine workers at the Moranbah North underground mine were conducting infrastructure activities involving the dismantling of conveyor equipment underground. This required the movement of a suspended load, using block and tackle, lever hoist (cumalong) and slings. The activity at the time of the incident involved a heavy load of an estimated four tonnes. The load shifted during the activity and resulted in fatal injuries to a coal mine worker.

How did it happen?

Inspectors are investigating this accident to identify its nature and cause.

Key issues

  • The suspended load shifted in an uncontrolled manner.


All site senior executives should:

  • Ensure the safety and health management system (SHMS) provides effective preventive critical controls for lifting and managing suspended loads, to prevent uncontrolled movement of suspended loads.
  • Verify the SHMS provides for mitigating critical controls, to ensure coal mine workers are not in the line of fire of any actions resulting from an uncontrolled movement of a suspended load.
  • Verify that coal mine workers required to conduct lifting activities have the appropriate demonstrated competencies relevant to the environment in which the task is being undertaken. 

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 Newman - Chief Inspector – Coal

Contact: Stephen Smith, Regional inspector of Mines , +61 7 4999 8510

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.