QMEB ยป Heavy vehicle fatally strikes inexperienced mine worker
Earthmoving Machinery Health & Safety Latest News

Heavy vehicle fatally strikes inexperienced mine worker

Telehandler collapse
Telehandler collapse

Hydraulic lifting machinery tipped over and killed a resources employee.

Authorities recently investigated how an all-terrain telehandler tipped over and fatally struck an untrained worker at CRH’s Beck Street mine.

Investigators found when the incident occurred about 2:40 pm on 14 December 2023 B.E.S.T Electric shop assistant Jay Swaffar had no mining experience. Fellow foreman electrician Thomas Manning was not trained in operating the heavy vehicle either.

“Manning began the last cable pull which was also the longest. When the cable could not be pulled completely out with the boom fully extended, T. Manning raised the front stabilisers and repositioned the telehandler to the machine’s right to try and gain more pull. The right front tyre of the telehandler traveled up a dirt pile approximately 15 inches (38cm) high, causing the extended boom to tilt to the left. The telehandler toppled to its left side, striking Swaffar and resulting in immediate fatal injuries,” the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s final report said.

Two paramedics attended the scene and declared the 56 year-old was deceased.

“Investigators determined from the manufacturer’s load charts that regardless of the attachment on the telehandler there was no acceptable load with the boom fully extended, at a 67-degree angle with the stabilisers raised. Investigators determined these factors contributed to the accident,” the report said.

“Manning did not have task training to operate the telehandler. Investigators determined that the lack of task training contributed to the accident.”

They concluded the contractor did not:

  • ensure proper task training was provided to the telehandler operator
  • ensure the telehandler operator maintained control of the equipment
  • ensure the telehandler was not used beyond the manufacturer’s design capacity to avoid creating hazards.

The employer responded by task-training employees on how to properly operate telehandlers. Workers were reminded not to operate equipment they have not been trained to use.

A standard operating procedure was also implemented about maintaining control of equipment, understanding traffic control plans and not using mobile phones during operation. The procedure also defines what constitutes a safely designed and maintained haul road plus following manufacturer design capacities.

Click here to read the full report.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Gold/Silver Index