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42Light Vehicle Crashes Over Highwall

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Brief Description of Incident/Accident & Description of Consequences/Outcomes:

A bulldozer operator whilst travelling between two jobs in a Toyota personnel vehicle became disorientated. He drove his vehicle onto a road believed to be closed, past two rills and not seeing the final highwall delineation rill in time to stop passed over the crest of a pre-strip highwall falling 12 metres. The vehicle suffered substantial damage to the driver's side cabin area.

Identified Root Causes:

The key factor leading to the accident was the removal of “Road Closed” signs and the dozing of rills at the beginning of the side road.

Other contributing factors include:

The operator was not familiar with the particular area of the mine in which he was working

The accident occurred on a dark night

The highwall delineation rill was made of washing plant reject and therefore not highly visible at night.

Energy Type(s) Involved:

Inadequate vehicle barriers for highwalls

Equipment Type(s):

Light vehicle

Root & Contributing Cause(s):

LTA bunding

LTA guarding

Stated or Potential Consequence(s):

Potential Fatality

Preventative/Recommended/Accepted Steps of Risk Mitigation, Points of Interest:

The fact that the operator was wearing his seat belt and the vehicle had a substantial roll bar saved his life.

Other recommendations include:

Procedures are developed for the control of the opening and closing of roads. These procedures should require that once a road is permanently closed it should be destroyed

The standard of highwall delineation rills should consider the colour of material used so that night visibility is maximised

Operators should ensure that they are provided with clear work instructions particularly where they are working in an area of the mine with which they are not familiar.


Queensland Government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI)


Here are the results.


Reference Type:

Significant Incident Report #6

Mine Type:

Surface Mine


Potential & Kinetic - Mechanical





Australia, Queensland

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