Mines safety alert no. 366 | 13 August 2019 | Version 1
Retractable access ladders
An operator was fatally injured when he became entangled between the movable part of an excavator’s access ladder and the wall of the engine room. (See Figure 1)
How did it happen?
Injuries were sustained as a result of entanglement in handrails, following activation of the access ladder emergency release valve.
- Inform users of retractable ladders about the contents of this safety alert.
- Although procedure (an administrative control) required the access ladder to be lowered through a safe process and location, it was physically possible to access the emergency ladder release valve. An engineering control would have been more effective in keeping persons away from this location e.g. by positioning the valve in a place that is not accessible or by covering it.
- The design of the access ladder, where the rotating handrails pass the stationary handrails in a scissor action, should be reviewed.
- Refer to Komatsu ‘Parts & Service News subject: “Hydraulically operated access”; Emergency release function, No AH19881; 18 July 2019’.
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.
Why did it happen?
Contact: Theo Kahl, Inspector of Mines , +61 7 4936 0127 firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy