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Worker injured after being pinned by HOBO wrench

A worker received serious leg injuries after undergoing maintenance on a blast-hole drill rig.

The maintenance fitter had removed the mast from the drill rig, and had disconnected the hydraulics from the hydraulically operation break out (HOBO), according to a Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines safety alert.

The worker was swinging the HOBO wrench out of the way to work on the base assembly.

“Repositioning himself to release the lifting chain, the fitter slipped and grabbed the HOBO wrench, pulling it over-centre and causing it to swing downwards, pinning his lower left leg between the wrench and the carousel resulting in serious injury, as depicted in the re-enactment photo below,” the alert said.

The DNRM noted a direct cause of the incident as a failure to isolate the potential energy of the HOBO wrench, and recommended all energy sources are effectively isolated when undertaking maintenance.

“Consider installing engineering controls (retention mechanisms), such as links or pins used on articulation pinch points on front end loaders, to ensure components are effectively isolated.”


Image: DNRM

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