The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has released a comprehensive new report examining vehicle collisions in Western Australia’s mining sector, aiming to raise industry awareness of the factors that can lead to collisions and how they can be addressed to improve safety.
The report follows two previous reports by the DMIRS, one which analysed fatality data from 2000 to 2012 and another that looked at over 600 serious injuries across a six-month period in 2013.
Both reports were later supplemented by hazard registers which detailed investigation findings and enabled sites to better identify and address hazards that have previously resulted in serious injuries and fatalities in WA.
Mines Safety Director, Andrew Chaplyn, said the fatality hazard register identified vehicle-related hazards were responsible for 16 of the 67 fatalities between 2000 and 2017.
“That’s almost one in four fatalities in Western Australia’s mining industry and is a key reason the department developed a report on vehicle collisions,” he commented.
The DMIRS’ new vehicle collisions report looks at all vehicle collisions reported to the department by the mining industry between January 2015 to December 2016 and details the types of vehicle involved in these incidents, the causation factors, site locations and the activities in progress when the collision or near miss occurred.
The report found that a total of 292 vehicles were involved in 172 collisions over the period, with the leading cause of collision related to parked-up or stationary secondary vehicles (causing 26 collisions).
The report also highlighted that reversing was the leading vehicle activity at the time of collisions (42 reported incidents).
Of the 42 collisions that occurred during reversing, visibility and communication issues were factors in two-thirds of these.
“This report can help mining operations better identify problem areas and assist them in developing improved systems of traffic management,” Mr Chaplyn said.
He further stated that the DMIRS would continue to look at ways to increase awareness across the industry of safety issues in Western Australia’s mining industry.
“It is important that includes looking at what injury data is telling us and using it as a guide for industry to develop better systems and reduce harm in the state’s mining industry,” he voiced.
The full ‘Vehicle collisions in the Western Australian mining industry 2015-16’ report can be found here.