The NSW Resources Regulator recently issued a safety alert following an incident in which a mine worker, who was installing an auxiliary fan ventilation tube, was sucked into the end of the tube.
Due to the pressure around his neck, the worker briefly lost consciousness.
The incident occurred at 3pm on 9 April 2020 at a coal mine in the NSW southern coalfields.
The worker was unable to free himself from the tube, and workers who came to his aid were also unable to free him until the auxiliary fan was shut down.
First aid was administered and the worker was transported to the mine surface, and then to the hospital where he was monitored and treated for abrasions and bruising.
The NSW Resources Regulator conducted a site assessment to gather information about the incident.
The auxiliary fan was new to the site and had only been underground for about a week, and a design and an operational risk assessment was completed before it was placed into service.
The mine also had a procedure for auxiliary fan operations.
The assessment focused on the section of the procedure concerned with installing fan ducting and the following observations were made:
The safety alert subsequently made a number of recommendations: