Mines safety bulletin no. 176 | 27 November 2018 | Version 1
Lightning strikes on rubber-tyred vehicles
- Mines should review their severe weather or lightning TARPS to take into account the risk to coal mine workers operating heavy rubber tyred vehicles during lightning storms.
- Clearly, a heavy rubber tyred vehicle cannot be considered as a place of safety during a lightning storm, and care must be taken where these vehicles are parked during a lightning storm so as not to create a hazard for buildings or structures.
- Mines Inspectors will be auditing mines’ severe weather and lightning procedures and TARPS during routine inspections.
The two incidents above indicate the risks to operators in heavy, rubber-tyred vehicles from pyrolysis due to lightning strikes. Whenever excess heat is developed in or applied to a tyre, it can initiate pyrolysis, (the decomposition of a substance by heat), within the tyre. This can cause a build-up of flammable gases and pressure within the tyre, which may rupture or explode. Further information can be found in Safety Bulletin 47 (Tyre fires, pyrolysis and explosions) available on the DNRME website.
Lightning strike incidents
Contact: Les Marlborough, Regional Inspector of Mines , +61 7 4999 8510 Les.Marlborough@dnrme.qld.gov.au
Issued by Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy