Two fitters were removing bolts from a track plate using a pneumatic torque gun. While removing the last bolt, the reaction arm broke and flew three metres hitting the second fitter on the head, racking the hard hat along the cap line. The reaction arm then rebounded towards the fitter who was operating the tool. No one was reported to be injured.
Recommendations to Industry:
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 clause 213 deals with the maintenance and inspection of
plant. This includes such tools and equipment as high torque pneumatic wrenches. Mine operators should have a process to ensure tools and equipment permitted to enter site have an appropriate maintenance history. High torque wrenches should be maintained, inspected and/or tested
in accordance with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommendations. Non-destructive
testing could be appropriate for load bearing components where failure could represent a risk to health and safety.
Mine operators should also ensure:
? pre-use inspections are available for workers and completed
? pre-use inspections address safeguards and externally visible load bearing components for cracking or damage
? defects are reported and fixed
? operators should be aware of avoiding the line of fire should failures occur.