Summary: During a routine conveyor inspection a deputy identified glowing embers and a small amount of smoke under a trunk conveyor. No naked flames were seen and a collapsed return roller was found to be the source of the heat. There was a small amount of fines below the collapsed roller, which had 500 mm clearance from the floor.
Recommendations to industry: Mine operators should review the:
- appropriate time frame for the defect management of belt rollers and for the removal of spillage along a conveyor
- consideration of belt roller life cycle through change management when conveyor speeds have increased.
There is an increasing trend in the number of fires on underground conveyors. Key issues identified include:
- the quality of inspections including inaccessible areas (eg behind guards, off walk side, etc)
- the use of fit-for-purpose rollers and idlers for the location
- roller management and the defect management system.