Explosion blew off refuge bay door: report

AN INCIDENT in which a door of an emergency refuge bay was blown off in a metalliferous mine was reported by the Queensland Mines Inspectorate for the month of November, a month in which fire and explosion-related incidents accounted for 4% of total high potential incidents in the state's mining and quarrying industries.
Explosion blew off refuge bay door: report Explosion blew off refuge bay door: report Explosion blew off refuge bay door: report Explosion blew off refuge bay door: report Explosion blew off refuge bay door: report

 

Lauren Barrett

But this is still an improvement on October's figure of 9%, according to the QMI compilation report for November 2011.

While the inspectorate does not reveal the name of the mines involved in incidents, it said in one particular event the access door to an underground emergency refuge bay was blown off its hinges as a result of a hydrogen gas explosion in the ERB.

According to the inspectorate, the cause of the gas explosion in the ERB was overcharging of the lead acid batteries housed in the bay.

In another incident it was recorded that a yellow tag transmitter associated with the use of non-flameproof diesel equipment in underground coal mines was found to have been damaged and the battery pack was not with the transmitter.

In a separate incident, a routine inspection of the flameproof enclosure for an auxiliary fan in an underground coal mine resulted in the electrician finding a crack in the viewing window.

Meanwhile, fire related incidents accounted for 18% of all accidents in the report, down from 22% in October.

In one incident a fire started in the engine bay of an Atlas Copco MT6020 underground dump truck after the degreaser, which had been absorbed by the lagging around the exhaust manifold, caught alight.

“The operator extinguished the fire by using the on-board suppression system,” the inspectorate said.

A fire also started in the engine bay of a Cat AD55B underground articulated dump truck as it drove up the decline to the portal.

In a brief description of the incident, the inspectorate said the operator activated the on-board fire suppression system to extinguish the fire.

Under the state’s safety regime, mines which fail to immediately report accidents or HPIs can have their operations suspended, and repeated failures could result in prosecutions.

Accidents and high potential incidents totalled 162 for Queensland’s mining and quarrying industries in November– down from the 12-month rolling average of 169.

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