The Resources Regulator has identified significant concerns in relation to incidents involving truck drivers being hit by the trailer tailgate while clearing or dislodging material from the trailer body or drawbar.
The regulator issued letters to all NSW operators last week about this issue.
Of note, in December 2016 a truck driver suffered fatal head injuries when he was struck by the steel tailgate of a truck when he attempted to climb into the trailer under the suspended tailgate to clean out residual material. Investigation Information Release IIR16-08 relates to this incident and can be downloaded below.
Of significant concern, since that time the regulator has been informed of two further incidents whereby truck drivers have been struck in the head by tailgates. The ongoing occurrence of these incidents, in similar circumstances, is completely unacceptable and the regulator will be taking a zero tolerance approach to this issue. Such incidents have already proven to be fatal and in the two most recent incidents the drivers only narrowly avoided more serious injury or death.
Over the coming months the Resources Regulator will be examining the induction process at mine sites and the processes in place for the management of this particular hazard.
To be clear, nobody should place their body between a suspended tailgate and a truck body and the message must be brought home to drivers that such activity must not occur.