Fatality after being struck by front end loader

THE Queensland Mines Inspectorate has recommended all mines sites should review their procedures, practices and plans to manage mobile equipment-pedestrian risk after a worker was struck and killed by a 988H Cat front end loader at a Queensland metalliferous mine site last month.
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Lou Caruana

Mine sites should also consider the implementation of proximity sensing technology to limit equipment operation when personnel are in the vicinity of mobile equipment, it said.

The front end loader, which was tramming forward at the time of the incident, struck the worker, who was later found on the processing area of the mine.

“Pedestrian-vehicle interaction is a major hazard at mines,” the inspectorate said in a notice. “This incident has been recognised as pedestrian and mobile equipment interaction, but the investigation is still ongoing.”

The incident also draws attention to the need for proximity detection technology to avoid collisions – a strategy being promoted by Queensland mine safety and health commissioner Stewart Bell.

Despite industry-wide awareness, proximity detection technology had not been fitted to the mobile equipment at the mine.

The inspectorate has recommended that mine sites design operations, tasks and activities to eliminate or reduce the possibility of interaction between pedestrians and mobile equipment.

They should also maintaining positive communication between pedestrians and equipment operators and recognise the equipment operator's blind spots and the location of pedestrians or plant, the inspectorate said.

Mine sites should develop clear and concise rules for the interaction of mobile equipment and pedestrians in all parts of the operation, including restricting pedestrians from areas where mobile equipment is operating.

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