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Falling rock smashes through loader windscreen

A worker was injured at a New South Wales quarry after a large rock smashed through the front end loader he was operating and struck him.

The large rock, weighing about 23 kilograms, fell about 17m from a blasted quarry face in July, according to a NSW Mine Safety alert.

“The loader had a maximum raised bucket height of approximately 5m,” the safety alert said.

“The rock struck the loader bucket arm, which was in the raised position, and bounced through the windscreen of the operator’s cab. The operator was struck in the upper chest and suffered minor lacerations.”

According to NSW Mine Safety the mining method on site was recently changed, with the planned bench height increasing from 9m to 18m.

The area had also recently been blasted and material had held up in the face with only a small amount riling away from the face for free loading.

Before the incident, a risk assessment and a safe work method statement (SWMS) was completed for the removal of material from the blasted face.

It was recommended that risk assessments and SWMS for lading from blasted stockpiles should assess the risk of rocks or material falling from height.

Read the full alert and list of recommendations here.

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