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Coal Inspectorate | Alert | No.439 V 1 | 13 November 2023

CMW's foot crushed in scissor lift accident

What happened?

On 1 November 2023, two coal mine workers (CMWs) at a site in the South Burnett region were de-rigging a mobile crane after completing a dragline maintenance task.  During the relocation of the scissor lift, the machine has hit the ankle and foot of one of the CMWs breaking multiple bones. The worker was treated at site before being taken to hospital.

How did it happen?

  • A mini dragline shutdown was being undertaken and a lifting task using a mobile crane had been completed.
  • The mobile crane had to be de-rigged and repositioned for another scheduled task. Most of the work crew had moved to the next work area adjacent to the dragline house.
  • Two CMWs were completing the de-rigging of the mobile crane. Figure 1 shows the incident site layout.
  • CMW 1 was working at ground level inserting a split pin into the crane hook block.
  • CMW 2 was repositioning a scissor lift.  During the relocation of the scissor lift, the scissor lift has hit the ankle and foot of the CMW who was working on the crane hook block causing serious injuries.
  • Based on a re-enactment of the incident the approximate position of the injured CMW when inserting the split pin into the crane hook block is shown in Figure 2.

Key issues

  • There was no physical barrier between the moving scissor lift and the CMW on the ground.
  • The scissor lift was operated near a CMW on the ground.
  • There appears to be inadequate communication and response between the CMWs.
  • CMWs did not adequately assess and control the risk of operating plant near another CMW.
  • Investigations into the incident are ongoing.
  • N.B. Maintenance tasks had been planned and scheduled. The site was well laid out and additional supervisors allocated to the assist in the supervision and management of the shutdown. Experienced CMWs were involved in the incident.


All CMWs should:

  • understand and follow site SHMS requirements related to operating plant near other CMWs.
  • STOP, assess risks, and make sure effective controls are in place when operating plant near other CMWs.
  • maintain awareness of other activities being undertaken that may impact you.

All Site Senior Executives should:

  • use higher order controls rather than lower order controls such as “positive communications”.
  • review the mine's safety and health management system (SHMS) processes and procedures for operating plant near CMWs, making sure that the risk of contact between the moving plant and the workers on foot is minimised.
  • periodically test the effectiveness of controls for operating plant near CMWs.
  • communicate SHMS requirements related to operating plant to all CMWs.

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 Jacques le Roux - Chief Inspector – Coal

Contact: Anthony Logan, Senior Inspector of Mines , +61 7 3199 8001

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.