Image of an open cut coal mine. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Image of an open cut coal mine. Picture: Rohan Kelly

Miners told to watch it after worker seriously injured

THE Queensland Mines Inspectorate has issued a safety alert to the industry following an incident where a coal miner was seriously injured while undertaking repairs at a mine site in the state.

While not revealing the time and place of the incident, the mines inspectorate’s safety alert said three coal mine workers had been preparing to use a 360-tonne track press while undertaking repairs on the tracks of a Hitachi excavator at a mine site.

“While aligning the track press in preparation to press out a track pin, the pressurised cylinder head plate failed catastrophically,” the alert stated.

The component struck one of the workers, causing serious arm injuries.

After being flown to a ­Brisbane hospital, he has required multiple operations and ongoing rehabilitation. The two miners working alongside the injured man did not suffer any injuries.

The mines inspectorate noted there was evidence of repeated, historic, cylinder hydraulic intensification.

Of the several engineering failures that were found to have contributed to the incident, the alert noted there was a lack of appropriate pressure controls to prevent “over- ­pressure” incidents.

The alert recommended all mine sites should have a robust inspection process for equipment used for maintaining plant, an effective system to ensure supervisors understood responsibilities, and a robust risk-assessment process.