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Five injuries, high gas readings at NSW mines

The New South Wales Mine Safety Weekly Incident Summary, released on January 20, revealed 43 total reportable incidents and five injuries.

Of the 43 incidents, 36 were Level 1 and seven were Level 2. They included incidents involving mechanical equipment, work environment and gas.

The report revealed a number of notifications for methane levels greater than 2.5% by volume had been reported from underground coal mine operations.

“Underground coal operations are reminded of their obligation to control methane levels through the use of adequate ventilation quantity, methane capture and monitoring,” the report said.

“Monitoring includes the selection of detection equipment that is suitable for the environment in which it must operate. This includes suitability for installation in high air velocities or for continual exposure to elevated levels of CH4, as determined by operational requirements for the mine.

“This may also require consideration be given to the use of sample pumps to provide controlled air flow over monitors while allowing for mounting of the monitors in locations that allow for maintenance and calibration activities.”

Another potentially fatal incident was reported, when a lime plant attendant left the cabin of the articulated truck he was driving to collect some samples from the hydration plant.

While he was out of the cabin the truck rolled backwards for a distance of approximately 100 metres and collided with the plant maintenance toilet block, causing extensive damage to the building and minor damage to the truck. There were no injuries.

“Mine operators should review the procedures for heavy mobile plant and ensure operators understand the shut – down procedure for the equipment being used at the mine.”

Read the full report here.