Collision data highlights safety lessons

The department has released a report examining vehicle collisions in WA's mining industry
Date: Friday, 18 January 2019

A new report examining vehicle collisions in Western Australia's mining industry has been released by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

The report looks at all vehicle collisions reported to the department by the mining industry across a two-year period and aims to create a better understanding of the factors that can lead to collisions and how they can be identified and addressed to improve safety.

Director Mines Safety Andrew Chaplyn said the study details the types of vehicle involved, the causation factors, site locations and the activities in progress when the collision or near miss occurred.

"This report can help mining operations better identify problem areas and assist them in developing improved systems of traffic management," Mr Chaplyn said.

It follows two previous reports released by the department, one that analysed fatality data from 2000 to 2012 and another that looked at more than 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 Western Australia.

"The fatality hazard register identified vehicle-related hazards as responsible for 16 of the 67 fatalities between 2000 and 2017," Mr Chaplyn said.

"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."

The report shows a total of 292 vehicles were involved in 172 collisions. The leading collision cause was parked-up or stationary secondary vehicles, causing 26 collisions, while reversing was the leading vehicle activity at the time of collisions, with 42.

"Of the 42 collisions that occurred during reversing, visibility and communication issues were factors in two thirds of these," Mr Chaplyn said.

Mr Chaplyn said the department would continue to look at ways to increase awareness across 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," Mr Chaplyn said.

As well as the vehicle collision report, the department also released a series of graphs based on the data from the report.