Driver escapes truck underwater

A HAUL truck driver was lucky to escape with only minor injuries when his vehicle rolled over a highwall into a water reservoir at a New South Wales mining operation.

Staff Reporter

The incident prompted the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ mine safety operations to issue a safety alert.

The driver was transporting product from a crushing plant in a rear dump truck. To speed up cycle times he took an alternative route down a secondary haulroad.

He lost control as the fully loaded truck approached the haulroad descent. It rolled over an 8m embankment before coming to rest in 7m of water. Luckily the operator escaped from the cabin and swam to the surface.

The incident is under investigation by the NSW Department of Primary Industries but weather and visibility conditions are not believed to have contributed to the incident. The truck is yet to be recovered.

The DPI said all mines should review haulroad operating conditions and make sure several factors were in place.

These included the use of barriers such as bunding or windrows to prevent mobile plant going over embankments, barricading redundant haulroads, and ensuring appropriate training for operators.