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Mineral Mines & Quarries Inspectorate | Alert | No.416 V 1 | 15 September 2022

Pedestrian suffers serious crush injury from reversing mobile plant

What happened?

A fuel truck driver received serious injuries which required hospitalisation after being crushed between the rear of a front-end wheel loader and the rear of a stationary fuel truck.

How did it happen?

The incident is under investigation; however, the preliminary findings are:

Diesel powered crushing and screening plant was operating in the quarry pit nearby. When operating, this plant is noisy.

Key issues

There have been numerous accidents at mines and quarries where pedestrian interaction with operating vehicles has resulted in serious injury or death to the pedestrian. In many of these accidents, the critical controls necessary to prevent a vehicle from striking a pedestrian were absent or ineffective.

In the case of this accident:

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and further issues may be identified and communicated.

Recommendations

Site Senior Executives (SSEs) should review their onsite activities to identify situations where interactions between pedestrians and operating vehicles take place and determine what controls - including critical controls – are, or should be, in place to prevent pedestrian incidents. Once identified, these controls must be implemented and monitored to ensure they are operational and effective.

When reviewing or considering the necessary controls, the hierarchy of controls must be applied. For example:

Separation – Establish exclusion zones so that pedestrians and operating vehicles are physically separated. The exclusion zone must be clearly defined and prevent operating vehicles from entering into the exclusion zone. (e.g., suitable bund). Stop all vehicles if pedestrian access is necessary. Only allow vehicles to recommence operating when the pedestrian has left the area.

Substitution – Replace in-field fuelling of vehicles with use of purpose-built refuelling stations.

Engineering – Utilise collision avoidance/proximity detection technology to assist vehicle operators to avoid vehicle collision incidents.

Engineering – Initial mine design and layout decisions will create the operational environment for all plant and people working within it and should include effective collision prevention controls.

Isolation Vehicles should be properly immobilised and isolated before being cleaned, worked on, or fuelled. (i.e., positioned on level ground, isolated, handbrake engaged and wheel chocks in place).

Administrative – Develop and implement a traffic management plan (TMP) that documents effective controls that manage the risks of vehicle interactions. Workers must be trained, assessed and monitored to ensure they understand and implement the control measures.

A critical control is defined as a control that if removed or not executed exactly as intended, would cause an unsafe situation despite the existence of the other controls.

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.

References and further information

Guidance- Collision Prevention:

Guidance Note QGN 27 Collision prevention (Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999)

Authorised by Trevor Brown - Deputy Chief Inspector – Mineral Mines & Quarries

Contact: Jon Smith, Inspector of Mines , +61 7 3330 4251

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 (Pedestrian suffers serious crush injury from reversing mobile plant - https://www.rshq.qld.gov.au/safety-notices/mines/pedestrian-suffers-serious-crush-injury-from-reversing-mobile-plant) is correct as of time of printing (5 Oct 2022 12:22 am).