Underground truck crash sees goldminer fined $150,000

Thursday, 18 March, 2021

Underground truck crash sees goldminer fined $150,000

Gold producer Northern Star Resources Ltd has been fined $150,000 in the Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court, after two workers were injured in a vehicle collision underground. The incident occurred at Northern Star’s Millennium mine in December 2017, when a worker lost control of a light truck while travelling downhill and steered into the mine wall to slow the vehicle. The worker and passenger suffered injuries from the collision.

At the time of the incident, the truck displayed the incorrect load capacity signage and was carrying a load that exceeded the safe operating maximum by more than 1.9 tonnes. The worker driving the truck had not completed the required training and assessment to operate the vehicle.

Andrew Chaplyn, Director Mines Safety at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, said the incident highlighted the importance of instruction, training and supervision for employees, to allow them to work in a safe manner. Chaplyn added that site procedures should include upskilling operators in calculating the safe working load limit if necessary.

“It’s up to mining operators to ensure workers have completed the required training and assessment for specific vehicles and sites. The incident also highlights the need for mining operators to conduct comprehensive risk assessments and ensure they have implemented the appropriate controls,” said Chaplyn.

Chaplyn also emphasised that all equipment and vehicles must display signage that shows the correct safe carrying weight.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Michael Evans

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