A worker locked out the plant prior to removing area guards and hosing under the plant. The operator restarted the plant after completing the clean-up and detected an unusual noise around a conveyor. He entered the guarded area of the plant to investigate the noise without turning off the plant or isolating the power. The worker tripped and planted his hand on the moving conveyor. His hand became trapped between the belt and the conveyor structure resulting in 3 broken fingers,
lacerations and associated abrasions. The injury resulted in major reconstruction surgery of the affected tendons and a near amputation.
Entanglement is one of the four fatal hazards that cause 80% of fatalities in the mining and quarrying sector, and in fact in workplaces generally throughout the world. Conveyor idlers, drive belt, conveyor drums and other nip points give rise to serious entanglement risks. Many entanglement incidents and serious accidents occur in situations where workers, and others, fail to identify hazards around moving parts and nip points, are rushing to get a job done, and/or have not been adequately trained in safe work procedures.
You need to ensure that:
• All guards are put back in place following maintenance and/or clean-up, prior to removing locks and re-energising the plant.
• Effective risk assessment/s are competed, and checked, prior to commencing any task. Adequate controls are put in place to avoid entanglement risks.
• All workers are trained, and re-trained as required, in isolation procedures and safe work procedures generally.
• You supervise, and conduct physical checks, 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.