An opal miner working in NSW recently suffered a spinal injury when he tried to close a hopper door with a star picket and was struck by falling mullock.
The worker was investigating a hopper door malfunction on the surface at an opal mine, and he used a star picket to push the door closed when material ejected from the hopper, striking him.
NSW Mine Safety inspectors examined the hopper and found that the refuse material was moist and caused a build up inside the walls.
This in turn caused the exit door to jam open and not seal correctly.
A number of recommendations were subsequently made in a safety alert following the incident:
Unit 2/217-219 Mickleham Rd Tullamarine Victoria 3043