Safety Alerts and Newsletters

Keep up with the latest safety alerts, news and information

Safety Alerts

31 January 2020

Safety Alert issued following hot works quarry fire

WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert about the risks associated with hot works, after a hopper liner and screen caught fire at a quarry.

The fire started while bolts were being cut with an oxy-acetylene torch during maintenance activities, and emergency services were required to extinguish the fire.

Read more

22 January 2020

Important – MinEx Safety Alert

Upon receiving a ‘Safety Alert’, mine, quarry and alluvial mining operators are urged to check their own installations to identify and eliminate similar hazards.

  • NZ Alert – Crush injury while welding
  • UHF radio transmitter causes MEWP to move
  • Excavator hits operator causing injuries
  • Electrical shock incident while tidying cables
  • NSW Summary – Rock fall hits excavator
  • NSW Summary – Rock fall traps underground miner.

Read more

22 August 2019

Fatality Alert

MSHA – Mine fatality alert from the US Dept. of Labour MSHA – Mine fatality alert – struck by falling hydraulic breaker

MSHA Mine Fatality

On Wednesday, July 17, 2019, a 32-year old general manager/owner was killed when he was struck by a hydraulic breaker. The victim and the excavator operator were in the process of positioning the excavator for a motor exchange when the hydraulic breaker attachment fell off the excavator and hit the victim.

Read more

21 August 2019

Lack of bunding on accessible edges

This safety bulletin provides safety advice for the NSW mining industry.

Open edges on stockpiles, tip heads, ramps and dams.

Circumstances

During recent inspections, the NSW Resources Regulator has identified that effective controls are not always in place to protect workers to the exposure of driving off open edges, falling from heights or falling into open bodies of water. Open edges on stockpiles, waste dumps, ramps and dams were frequently identified with absent or inconsistent windrows or bunding in place.
Edge, ramp and tipping bunds/windrows are required to ensure the safety of heavy machinery operators.

Read more

20 August 2019

Retractable access ladders

Queensland Government – Mines safety alert no.366

What happened?

An operator was fatally injured when he became entangled between the movable part of an excavator’s access ladder and the wall of the engine room.

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26 July 2019

Serious injury to worker involving a mobile screening plant

What happened?

On Thursday the 18th July an apprentice diesel mechanic became trapped between the rear of the incline conveyor and the chassis rail of a mobile screening plant. The worker sustained serious injuries requiring medivac and hospitalisation.

Two other quarry workers who were nearby saw the incline conveyor slide downwards and responded immediately to the trapped worker. They used an excavator and chains to pull the incline conveyor upwards to free the worker.

Read more

15 January 2019

Working in Heat: Not just an outdoor problem

Working in heat can be hazardous and can cause harm to workers in both indoor and outdoor work environments.

Factory workers who use hot plant and workers who work in roof cavities with minimal air flow, are just some examples of workers at risk of heat-related illness indoors.

Businesses have duties under work health and safety laws to manage health risks in the workplace, including those associated with working in heat.

To help you identify hazards in your workplace you should talk to workers, including any health and safety representatives, and other duty holders.

To make sure you and your workers stay safe in summer, visit the Safe Work Australia website for more information and download a copy of the guide to managing the risks of working in heat.

Read more

17 July 2018

Near miss between light vehicle and haul truck

The hazards of complex intersection design in open cut mines were highlighted when a light vehicle operator had to take evasive action to prevent a collision with a haul truck at a site on 28 June 2018.

Read more

09 April 2018

Reclassification of welding fume as carcinogenic from an Australian perspective

Read more

05 April 2018

Warning devices on powered mobile plant

Guidance for employers, self-employed persons and people who have management and control of a workplace (legal duty holders) about the unsafe work practice of deactivating warning devices on powered mobile plant.

Download the full alert

09 January 2018

As the weather heats up, it’s time to review your workplace to make sure you and your workers stay safe.

Safe Work Australia has published a new Guide for managing the risks of working heat. You can access the new guide and more information on our website.

Heat is a hazard in many Australian workplaces, whether work is performed indoors or outdoors, so we have published a new guide on working in heat.

People in control of the workplace, such as managers and supervisors, and workers all have duties under work health and safety laws to manage risks to worker health and safety, such as those associated with working in heat.

First aid fact sheet now available

Need help in a hurry? See our First aid fact sheet for information on recognising and treating the most common forms of heat-related illness.

20 July 2017

Lack of pillar support – underground opal mines

New South Wales Resources Regulator identified an underground mining site in Lighting Ridge which had insufficient primary support and no secondary support in large sections of the site.

Download the full alert

27 June 2017

Injured worker not discovered and treated for extended period

The driver of a service vehicle was travelling along a haul road to a satellite pit to deliver fuel. The area had experienced overnight rain, and the driver lost control of the loaded vehicle. The light vehicle mounted a verge and rolled onto its roof. The driver was unable to call for assistance due to the damaged radio aerial and absence of a back-up communication system. There was a delay in the arrival of the emergency responders before the driver was taken to a regional hospital for treatment.

Download the full alert

17 May 2017

Hydraulic power pack and ram failure causing death

WorkSafe New Zealand has issued a safety alert after a mine worker was fatally struck by high-pressure hydraulic fluid, which erupted from a ram while the worker performed maintenance on the rear struts of a dump truck.

Download the full alert

12 May 2017

Fitter struck in chest by packing plate released under pressure

A significant incident report has been released after a packing plate beneath the hydraulic ram on a broken down cone crusher dislodged under pressure and struck a fitter, inflicting serious chest injuries.

Download the full alert

12 May 2017

Use of an excavator bucket as a lifting point

The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum released another safety bulletin after finding that a number of mines are unsafely allowing excavator operators to use their excavator’s bucket teeth as lifting points when relocating equipment.

Download the full alert

12 May 2017

Ratchet vehicle support stands

This safety bulletin has been issued after identifying a number of defective ratchet support stands at mining operations. Incorrect handling or use of a ratchet vehicle support stand in a manner not intended by the manufacturer may lead to a damaged lock pin or defective components. This damage may result in the sudden failure of the stand to support a load and could lead to serious or fatal injuries for workers or those in the vicinity.

Download the full alert

21 APRIL 2017

Pneumatic air tool fitting fails

A worker was struck on the left forearm with compressed and foreign particles when a swivel fitting on an air hose detached from the pneumatic ratchet he was using. The incident occurred at a New South Wales mine on 10 March 2017.

Download the full alert

25 JANUARY 2017

Driver thrown from cab in articulated truck roll over

A trainee operator was reversing a 27 tonne articulated dump truck to tip a load of wet sand in a stockpile area. The right hand rear wheels rode up onto the edge of an existing stockpile and the load in the tub shifted, tipping the trailer onto its side and rocking the cab violently. The operator was thrown about in the cab, first striking and breaking the driver’s window and then striking, breaking and falling through the passenger side window to the ground. The operator suffered lacerations to his arm and head which required hospital treatment.

Download the full alert

25 November 2016

Sudden failure of feed hopper

A plant operator heard an unusual noise coming from the run of mine (ROM) feed hopper. On inspection, the plant operator found the feed hopper had collapsed onto the plant feed conveyor.

Download the full alert

09 JUNE 2016

Another worker injured in IT work basket crush incident

A worker has been seriously injured after being crushed in an integrated tool carrier work basket incident underground. The incident occurred in March, when two servicemen were working in an IT carrier, removing pipe services from the sidewall and backs of an extra-high excavation.

Download the full alert

30 May 2016

Working near slopes in quarries

This safety alert highlights the risk of working near the crest and toes of slopes in quarries and provides advice on how to reduce the risk of slope failure. In a recent incident, a fatality occurred at a quarry when a dump truck was tipping waste material over the crest of a dump head and the slope failed.

Download the full alert

09 March 2016

Guards and discs on angle grinders

This safety alert highlights the risks associated with removing guards and using incorrect discs on angle grinders. In early February 2016, a Queensland worker received fatal injuries while operating a 230 mm (9 inch) angle grinder. The worker was killed when part of a broken disc struck the worker’s chest. It appears that due to the high impact of the projectile it caused fatal internal injuries.

Download the full alert

22 FEBRUARY 2016

Driver loses control of light vehicle and crashes in underground mine

The driver of a personnel transport and service vehicle (single cabin, four-wheel drive traytop utility) lost control of the vehicle while travelling down a decline into an underground mine and crashed into a wall.

Download the full alert

 Safety Resources

3 February 2020

First aid for heat-related illness

Workplaces have a duty to provide first aid equipment and facilities, and access to trained first aid officers, for sick or injured workers. Heat-related illness is progressive. If the worker is not treated or remains in a hot environment, it can be fatal.

The following fact sheet provides advice and guidance on providing first aid to someone experiencing a heat-related illness.

Read more

31 January 2020

Expert develops fact sheets on bushfire smoke

Professor Sotiris Vardoulakis, an air quality and health expert from the Australian National University’s Research School of Population Health, has developed freely accessible fact sheets on how to best protect yourself from bushfire smoke. The fact sheets were developed because Professor Vardoulakis believed people needed more comprehensive and balanced health protection advice, as Australians deal with unprecedented levels of bushfire smoke.

“The existing public health advice on bushfire smoke is mainly tailored to brief air pollution episodes, typically lasting no longer than one or two days. But this is not normal, and we need to urgently do more. People need to be able to access the best information out there simply and quickly,” Vardoulakis said.

Read more

30 January 2020

Guide for managing the risks of working in heat

People in control of the workplace, such as managers and supervisors, and workers all have duties under WHS laws to manage risks to worker health and safety, such as those associated with working in heat.

This guide is useful for employers and workers in the transport, postal/warehousing, construction and public administration and safety industries, as well as labourers and protective service workers.

The following guide provides information on how to manage the risks associated with working in heat and what to do if a worker begins to suffer from a heat-related illness.

Read more

Info Alerts

30 January 2020

Dustwatch Report

Dust Storms Reduced

Dust activity reduced dramatically in December 2019 with an average of 41 hours of dust recorded across our long-term stations compared to a staggering 94 hours in November 2019. Only Ivanhoe and Coombah in the far west of New South Wales exceeded 100 hours of dust in November 2019.

Read more

Rural Air Quality Network – Live Data

DustWatch depends on the data from the rural air quality monitoring network. Real time data is now available including that for two sites across South Australia – Lameroo and Broken Hill. Click below to read more.

Read more

Reducing Soil Erosion

Reducing soil erosion and soil loss in Western NSW – 4:32min.
Published by Western LLS.

Watch Video

30 January 2020

Know the risks of working in heat

SAFEWORK Australia

Working in heat can be hazardous and can cause harm to workers in both indoor and outdoor work environments.

In the last 10 years from 2008-09 to 2017-18p, there were 1,360 workers’ compensation claims resulting from working in heat.

1,235 of these claims were from working in the sun –

  • 750 of these claims were cancer-related
  • 140 of these were claims regarding heat stroke or heat stress

85 of these claims were from working in hot indoor conditions –

  • 40 of these were claims regarding heat stroke or heat stress

Employers have duties under work health and safety laws to manage the risks of working in heat and protect worker health and safety.

Download our infographic: working in heat and Guide for managing the risks of working in heat or visit our working in heat web page for information on how to identify and address heat-related hazards.

Contact your regulator for guidelines specific to your jurisdiction.

News Updates

30 January 2020

Workplace Health Management Manual

The Committee continues to provide critical industry specific resources that assist to protect workers and prevent Occupational Dust Related Diseases in South Australian mines and quarries. After over 12 months in the development, The Committee is pleased to announce the release of the MAQOHSC Workplace Health Management Manual in late February 2020.

Brief Overview of contents include:

MAQOHSC – Preventing Occupational Dust Related Disease

Respirable Crystalline Silica

45 Resources focused on
• Identifying Silica Exposure
• Controlling Silica Exposure
• Workplace Dust Monitoring
• Workers Health Monitoring

MAQOHSC Workplace Health Assessments
• Consult and Train Workers

Workplace Mental Health
• MAQOHSC Mental Health First Aid Officer Training
• 19 – Workplace Mental Health Guides

Skin Cancer Prevention
• MAQOHSC Workplace Skin Cancer Screening
• MAQOHSC Workplace Skin Cancer Posters
• Workplace Tool box talks

Thousands of workers in various industries are affected by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. Occupational exposure is associated with increased risk of developing acute, sub-acute or chronic, autoimmune respiratory diseases and silicosis, including the newly emerging artificial stone associated silicosis.

The MAQOHSC workplace health management manual is a valuable across industry resource adaptable in occupational settings where crystalline silica is present.

To register for your copy of our new manual and to book an information session on implementing our resource in your workplace please email maqohsc@sa.gov.au

Newsletters

MAQOHSC Newsletter SPRING, 2018

In this issue:

  • Health Surveillance  2018 – 2019
  • Accredited Mental Health First Aid Officer Training
  • Guarding of Plant – Hoppers
  • Regional Safety Seminar Topics
  • Sleep Vital to Safety
  • Committee Workplace Visits
  • New MAQOHSC Website Calendar

MAQOHSC Newsletter Issue 3, 2017

In this issue:

  • Health Surveillance Dust Monitoring 2017 – 2018
  • MAQOHSC Funded Mental Health Training Program
  • Access, Egress and Crushing Plant Guarding

MAQOHSC Newsletter Issue 2, 2016

In this issue:

  • Fully funded health surveillance – dust monitoring program for South Australian Mines and Quarries
  • Time to plan and prepare for working in the heat
  • Fully funded Certificate IV Work Health and Safety training.

MAQOHSC Newsletter Issue 1, 2016

In this issue:

  • Funded dust monitoring commencing
  • Training targets keeping young workers safe
  • Complacency to compliance looks at safety with explosives
  • Depressed or totally Stressed? How to tell the difference!
  • Fully funded health and wellbeing 60 day online health program.

MAQOHSC Newsletter Issue 44, Winter 2015

In this issue:

  • New program to help prevent suicide and promote wellbeing for workers
  • MAQOHSC Committee undertakes site visit to Hillgrove Resources
  • Guide to principal mining hazards.

Previous Issues

Previous issues are available upon request to MAQOHSC. Please email us to request previous issues.

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