A contract fitter was using a high-torque wrench to remove bolts from the final drive on an excavator. He had a remote control in his hand and was using his right leg to steady the wrench in place when a failure occurred at the fitting/coupling at the manifold block on the high torque wrench. The fitter was sprayed with oil. The fitter was taken to first aid and checked but no entry point of fluid was located.
Recommendations to industry: Mine operators and contractors working with high pressure portable apparatus should ensure that:
pre-use inspections are available for workers
pre-use inspections address both mechanical and electrical safeguards
guarding such as hose sleeves, metal or flexible covers should be considered for all parts of the equipment where there is potential hazard of fluid release due to the failure of hoses, fittings and seals.
provisions are made for the torque wrench to remain stable while the operator uses a remote control device at a safe distance from the energy source.