Bengalla Tyre fitter fatality learnings released

June 22, 2020 Mining Editor

The learnings from a fatality at the Bengalla Coal mine have shown the importance of appropriate use of exclusion zones and the importance of safe working methods when handling tyres. A new video (below) has been released to assist the industry learn from the incident.

EXCERPT FROM INVESTIGATION REPORT “Quinton Moore, aged 37, suffered fatal injuries while washing a large earth-moving tyre at Bengalla Mine (the mine) approximately 4 kilometres south-west of Muswellbrook in November 2018.

At the time of the incident, Mr Moore was employed by Marathon Tyres as a tyre fitter. Marathon Tyres was contracted by the mine to provide, among other things, tyre-fitting services. At about 7.20 pm, Mr Moore was operating a tyre handler to replace a damaged earthmoving tyre from a water cart.

The tyre and rim assembly weighed approximately 2.2 tonnes. During the tyre replacement process, Mr Moore conveyed the tyre to the mine’s heavy vehicle wash bay for the purpose of cleaning the tyre assembly.

A Marathon Tyres co-worker (the co-worker) remained in the tyre bay fitting area and observed Mr Moore using a fixed high-pressure water cannon to clean the tyre rim. The co-worker observed the tyre in a fixed vertical position within the grabs of the tyre handler.
The co-worker went to complete other duties and a short time later heard a noise, which caused him to look towards the wash bay.

The co-worker was unable to see Mr Moore and noticed the tyre was not in the grabs of the tyre handler. The co-worker walked to the wash bay, where he saw Mr Moore lying face down on the concrete pad of the wash bay, trapped under the tyre in front of the tyre handler. The coworker called an emergency on his two-way radio and a response was activated.

Several mine workers attended the wash bay to assist Mr Moore, however, it was apparent that his injuries were fatal.”

There have been a range of tyre handling related incidents and tyre handler fatality events across the industry for more than twenty years. The latest incident shows the importance of effective controls around management of exclusion zones.

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