A driller and offsider were reloading drill rods onto a carousel when the first rod fell through a hole in the deck. The offsider stepped in to retrieve the drill rod without clear communication between himself and the driller. The driller was operating a gripper arm that swung around and hit the offsider in the lower ribs. The offsider was X-rayed and cleared of injury.
Recommendations to industry: Mine operators should review how “clear communication” between a machine operator and offsider is made. This is the second serious incident within a few weeks contributed to by poor communication. Mine operators should also review under what circumstances and controls workers can enter “no go zones”.