Safety Alert – Fall of ground traps worker

April 17, 2018 Tara

An excavator operator was doing some stripping work on overburden benches, when he noticed loose material falling from the face behind him. He decided to evacuate the area, and while moving back past the face it failed and pushed the excavator off the bench,
coming to rest on the inclined face approx. 5m below. Rocks entered the cab, trapping the operator.

Falls, including people falling or objects falling on people, is one of the four fatal hazards that result in 80% of fatalities in the extractives sector, both in New Zealand and internationally. Falls tops the list ahead of collisions, entanglement, and pressure release.

You need to ensure that:
• A pre-start pit inspection is conducted prior to working on benches, to identify fall hazards and other hazards associated with working on benches
• Workplace inspections include benches and faces in the pit, to identify instability and the signs of possible face failure
• All workers are trained in operating mobile equipment on benches including identification of slope stability hazards
• Work is supervised, and physical checks conducted, to ensure workers are completing the task/s in accordance with safe work procedures and/or risk assessments completed.

Let’s work together to keep ourselves and our workers safe.

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