Methane hazards at open-cut excavations

October 1, 2017 Tara

A maintainer working at an open-cut coal mine had completed gouging a weld from an excavator travel motor guard when a bystander noticed small blue flames between the excavator track pads, directly below the hot work area.

Hot work stopped immediately and the flames burnt out. The entire work area was checked with a gas monitor and intermittent pockets of methane gas were detected under the excavator track pads. The machine was then relocated to a work area 400 m further up the ramp. Before work recommenced, this area was checked with a gas monitor and was found to be gas free.

How did it happen?

Intermittent pockets of methane gas issuing from the ground beneath the excavator track pads were ignited by sparks from hot work being performed above.

Previous Article
Worker’s thumb severed during winching operation
Worker’s thumb severed during winching operation

During a rigging up operation on a coal seam gas lease, a skid holding a shipping container had been unload...

Next Article
Mines Safety Roadshow – have you registered?
Mines Safety Roadshow – have you registered?

The 2017 Mines Safety Roadshow will be commencing next week 3 October in Kalgoorlie and will travel to Leon...