Lifting plate breaks worker’s leg

The NSW Resources Regulator has launched an investigation after a worker suffered a broken leg when he was hit by a lifting plate attached to an overhead crane.

The incident happened on 13 November 2022 at the Tarrawonga Coal Mine, an open cut mine operated by Whitehaven Coal, near Boggabri in New South Wales.

The worker had finished repairing a haul truck and was using the crane to remove the lifting plate from the axle box when it became wedged.

The crane continued to apply load, and when the lifting plate freed it hit the worker on the leg.

Authorities were told on the day of the incident, the contract worker had finished repairs to a haul truck when he was removing a lifting plate.

The overhead crane had been used to support the weight of the axle box to allow welding repairs to be carried out on the topside of the axle box.

Investigators have been told the lifting plate needed to be “manually manipulated out of the air vent opening” of the axle box.

“Initial information suggests that as the plate was lifted using the crane through the opening, it became wedged in the opening,” the mine investigator’s preliminary inquiries revealed.

“The crane continued to apply load onto the plate to remove it from the hole. While under load, the plate became free and hit the worker on the leg, resulting in a serious injury.”

As part of the probe, investigators will examine the workings around the heavy plant; instructions; any training and supervision of the worker; as well as the procedures, risk assessment and work instructions.

The regulator said a full report would be published once the investigation has been finalised.

Source: Safe to Work.

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