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Coal Inspectorate | Alert | No.411 V 1 | 01 July 2022

Truck rolls down dump face after breaching tip head bund

What happened?

A CAT 789 haul truck backed position 5 and 6 wheels through a safety berm on an overburden dump during a night shift. After teetering for a brief period at the tip head, the truck rolled side-over-side for two complete revolutions, before finally coming to rest 26.7m below on its wheels. The driver sustained injuries that required hospitalisation overnight.

How did it happen?

Between the supervisor inspection at the start of the shift and the time of the incident, the standard of the tip head had deteriorated significantly. It had narrowed up, not been maintained in a straight edge, and the berm had reduced in height and width to such an extent that it was no longer a critical control to the mine standard which would prevent the truck from breaching the tip head.

Key issues

  • The tip head was not to standard, being too narrow and misaligned, resulting in the truck backing up at an angle to the edge.
  • The height of the berm was well below the half wheel height of the truck involved.
  • The width of the berm was below the mine standard.
  • The height of the dump had exceeded the maximum mine standard.
  • The position of lighting was inadequate, resulting in shadows on the off-driver's side of the truck where the berm was first breached.


All Site Senior Executives should:

  • Review Risk Assessment and SOP for dumping on overburden dumps, minimising the frequency of narrow dumps. Where this can't be achieved, ensure the design and operational parameters are clearly defined in the SHMS. Operators and supervisors must be trained and assessed in their understanding of the SOP.
  • Include a competent geotechnical engineer in the risk assessment team as well the cross section of the workforce involved in the activity.
  • Ensure Supervisors, Open Cut Examiners and Dump Dozer operators have an accurate means of continually checking that advancing dumps are always within their design parameters.
  • Ensure all dump dozer operators are aware of the requirements for maintaining a tip head in a safe state.
  • Ensure the SHMS contains a mechanism to monitor the effectiveness of the Supervisor and Open Cut Examiner inspections, auditing, and reporting on dump design compliance.
  • Review lighting standards at tip head areas.

All operators should:

  • Not use the safety berm as a stop for the rear wheels of the truck in dumping operations.
  • Be aware that they have a responsibility to assess the tip head each time they approach it, to ensure it is safe to discharge their load in the normal manner. If not safe, then dump short.
  • Be aware that the extent of the injuries sustained to the coal mine worker, while serious, were limited by the operator wearing their seatbelt.

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: Mark Royes, Inspector of Mines , 0458 812 479

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.