WA mining company fined $58,000 after crush injury

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Photo: Activedia, Pixabay

A WA mining company has been fined $58,000 after a worker was seriously injured while carrying out maintenance on a jaw crusher in April 2014.

The man was working at a mine site, about 25km southeast of Cue, on 17 April 2014 when the incident occurred.

A jaw crusher is used to crush mined ore for further processing, and as part of regular maintenance; the jaw crusher’s liners are periodically replaced.

It was while trying to fit the liners, which weighed between 1.8 and 2.3 tonnes, that one of them fell and injured the worker.

An investigation by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety found that workers were using a piece of timber as a wedge to hold the liner in what they thought was the correct position.

While the liner had not yet been bolted in, Mr. Robinson believed it was sufficiently imbedded in its inclined position that it could not fall forward.

When Mr. Robinson removed the timber wedge in order to start positioning the next jaw liner, the other liner fell on him.

DMIRS Director Mines Safety Andrew Chaplyn said the company was responsible for directing and controlling how the work was carried out and ensuring workers were not exposed to the uncontrolled movement of the liner.

“This could have been done by Silver Lake providing the workers with a means of making sure that the jaw liner did not move in an uncontrolled manner while they were working on it,” he said.

“One example of what could have been used was combining a work platform with lifting cams or lifting lugs which had been designed, positioned and welded to the liners properly.

“This was an incident that had the potential to be fatal.”

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