Safety alert following drill rig accident
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Safety alert following drill rig accident

THE DEPARTMENNT of Mines and Energy Australia has released a safety alert for drillers in the mining industry.
The safety alert follows and incident wherein a chain fell from blasthole drill rig, hitting worker.

Investigations to date suggest that during maintenance, two hold back chains fell from the top of the drill rig mast. One chain struck a maintenance worker on the drill deck, causing serious injuries.

The Department recommends maintainers of drill rigs with similar chain configurations should ensure adequate controls exist when work is carried out with the mast in a raised position and the chains disconnected from the head. Although not believed to be a factor in this incident, the maintenance system should also ensure the integrity of the chains.

The authority says original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) should conduct risk assessments on anticipated maintenance work during the life cycle of the plant. The service manual should include the necessary controls identified by these risk assessments. Also, maintainers of plant should conduct their own risk assessments, generally incorporating the information from the OEM.

To gain maximum effectiveness from a Job Safety Analysis (JSA), the participants must, first and foremost, be familiar with and competent in the JSA process before they apply their skills and knowledge to the JSA for the work to be performed. Undertaking the JSA in isolation from the actual work activity / equipment site may lead to a superficial ‘tick and flick’ approach. The JSA should include analysis of each job stepsequence and identify what possible hazards have been created through the job steps. In addition, the JSA should identify obvious hazards encountered while undertaking the work.