Mining company fined following incident that seriously injured worker

Silver Lake Resources Ltd has been fined $58,000 following an incident that seriously injured a worker at its Murchison Gold Operation
Date: Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Silver Lake Resources Ltd has been fined $58,000 in Perth Magistrates Court following an incident that seriously injured a worker at its Murchison Gold Operation 25km southeast of Cue in 2014.

Boilermaker Jayden Robinson, was working at Silver Lake's Tuckabianna Processing Plant on 17 April 2014 when the incident occurred.

Mr Robinson was conducting maintenance on a piece of plant called a jaw crusher, which is used to crush mined ore for further processing. As part of regular maintenance, the jaw crusher's liners are periodically replaced. It was while trying to fit the liners that one of them fell and injured Mr Robinson, resulting in multiple fractures.

The liners weighed between 1.8 and 2.3 tonnes.

An investigation by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety found that the workers were having difficulty fitting the liner into position. A piece of timber was used 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.

It was after Mr Robinson removed the timber wedge in order to start positioning the next jaw liner that the other liner fell on him.

DMIRS Director Mines Safety Andrew Chaplyn said that Silver Lake 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."