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Coal Inspectorate | Alert | No.393 V 1 | 02 July 2021

Workers became unresponsive and rescued from dragline after spray painting inside confined space

What happened?

On 25 April 2021, while working on a dragline shutdown and performing spray painting activities under a Confined Space Entry Permit, a Coal Mine Worker (CMW) became unresponsive and was rescued from inside the revolving frame of a dragline. A second CMW also had to be rescued after they re-entered the confined space to assist with the first rescue.

The investigation into the incident has found the following matters that are relevant for the attention of industry, there having been previous similar confined space incidents associated with dragline shutdowns and other confined work activities requiring attention by industry.

How did it happen?

Key issues


All mine SSEs should:

  1. Review site procedures for confined space entry to ensure:
  2. Ensure persons required to wear respiratory protection have been trained in the selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protection in accordance with AS/NZS 1715-2009. In addition, persons required to wear negative pressure respirators to complete facial fit testing and trained in the limitations and replacement requirements for particulate and gas filter media.
  3. Ensure ventilation controls are applied to all spray painting tasks to be performed inside confined spaces, irrespective of duration.
  4. The selection of gas detectors for use in confined space entry work should consider the type of contaminants likely to be present and cause an exposure risk to workers inside the space.

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: Peter Currie, Inspector of Mines , 0419 740 820

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is a guide only and 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.

All information on this page (Workers became unresponsive and rescued from dragline after spray painting inside confined space - is correct as of time of printing (5 Oct 2022 12:25 am).