Amputation sparks safety call

A COAL miner in New South Wales had his lower left forearm amputated after it became entangled in steel rib mesh caught on a rotating drill steel.
Amputation sparks safety call Amputation sparks safety call Amputation sparks safety call Amputation sparks safety call Amputation sparks safety call

The drill steel, drill bit and entangled mesh, courtesy of NSW DPI.

Christine Feary

The injured miner had been working on a continuous miner, and was preparing for it to be trammed forward for the next roof support cycle.

 

As he was attempting to locate the roof mesh and the horizontal section of the rib mesh on top of the continuous miner-mounted temporary roof support, the rib mesh caught between the twin tips of the butterfly drill bit on one of the drilling rigs, wrapping around the drill bit and trapping the miner’s arm.

 

Initial investigations suggest the continuous miner-mounted hydraulic roof bolter may have been inadvertently operated, either by the operator or independently, causing the rib mesh to snag on the drill bit and become tangled.

 

While investigations into the incident are ongoing, the NSW Department of Primary Industries has released a list of recommendations to avoid future incidents of this kind, including reviewing risk assessments for the installation of roof and rib mesh, and making personnel involved in those processes aware of the risks involved.

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