ENVIRONMENT

Moolarben flyrock incident damages vehicle

WORKERS at the Moolarben open cut coal mine in New South Wales had a narrow escape when flyrock from an overburden blast struck a light vehicle near them.

Lou Caruana
Flyrock damaged the bonnet of a light vehicle at Moolarben.

Flyrock damaged the bonnet of a light vehicle at Moolarben.

The workers had remained in an exclusion zone during blasting at the mine.

The flyrock damaged the bonnet and front grill of the light vehicle but no workers were struck by the flyrock. 

At the time of the shot being fired the workers and light vehicle were positioned at the firing location about 246m from the blast area.

The mine’s blasting procedures required an exclusion zone of 300 m for mobile plant and equipment and 500 m for workers. 

The NSW Resources Regulator has started an investigation into the incident.

“There is specific legislation about the management of risks associated with explosives,” it said.

Mine operators must ensure that appropriate information, instruction and supervision is provided to workers in relation to exclusion zone requirements prescribed within the mine’s explosives control plan.

“Mine operators are reminded that appropriate systems must be in place to review and audit the explosives control plan and blasting work practices to ensure that exclusion zone requirements are enforced,” the regulator said.

It warned mine operators to identify hazards and manage risks to health and safety associated with explosives and shotfiring activities.

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