The bulletin said that, despite industry efforts and technological advances, accidents involving remote control equipment continue to cause serious injuries, and even deaths.
In the bulletin the DPI has issued a number of recommendations for mine management, to encourage safe behaviour around remote-controlled equipment:
- Ensure relevant risk assessments are undertaken and safe operating procedures developed, including all non-routine work;
- Undertake a formal workplace audit of remote control equipment operations for personnel compliance with "control zones", "no standing zones" and "isolation rules";
- Ensure the compliance audit method accesses equipment data logging information regarding isolation, where available;
- Specify requirements for event data logging prior to acquisition or overhaul of remote-controlled machines - specifications should consider the associated risks of accessing the data and how the data supports occupational health and safety systems used at the mine;
- Review the MDG 5004 (CJ Pitzer Report) and implement behaviour modification strategies where non-compliances are identified;
- Review training systems for inexperienced persons and existing personnel to ensure competency in mining systems and procedures; and
- Ensure that inspection reports are made in accordance with MDG 5002 and that mine inspection systems and inspection reports are retained.