At 1.40 pm on 22 January 2016, an operator was driving a load haul dump (LHD) vehicle in an underground roadway at Mannering Colliery when a damaged roof support strap entered the open cab and hit the operator in the head. The impact resulted in a serious laceration to the operator’s head. The laceration extended from near his left ear to his left eye. The injury resulted in his temporal artery being damaged.
The operator parked the LHD and applied pressure to the wound with his hand to stem the blood flow. He staggered about 120 m into the mine to get help. Other workers gave him first aid and evacuated him from the mine. The operator was transported to Wyong Hospital via ambulance and treated. The wound required 60 stitches.
The mine is on the southern side of Lake Macquarie in Doyalson NSW. The mine operator is LakeCoal Pty Ltd (LakeCoal). LakeCoal contracted LD Operations Pty Ltd (LD Operations) to provide labour and services to the mine for a project to build an underground link from the mine to the adjacent Chain Valley Colliery. Both LakeCoal and LD Operations are part of the LDO Group. The LDO Group is a group of companies that
operates mines and provides services to the mining industry, predominantly in the Hunter region.
At the time of the incident, the mine was transitioning from being in a state of care and maintenance to recommencing operations. This involved the introduction of new personnel and plant to the mine. It was the operator’s first day on duty underground at this mine and it was also the first time a personnel transport vehicle identified as SMV003 was used in the underground roadways. This vehicle was 50 mm higher than other vehicles used at the mine.