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Safety alert issued following near miss from falling counterweight

Tuesday, 10 September, 2019 - 09:45
Policy & legislation

WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert following an incident involving a near miss when a counterweight hoist failed on a mining site.

A 20-tonne counterweight fell approximately 30 metres from its operating position, and the area below the counterweight was isolated by a fence, resulting in no injuries.

However, the supporting structure was significantly damaged.

The alert said there are a number of steps to reduce the risk of plant failure when establishing, implementing and reviewing their safety management system (SMS) should ensure:

·         Risk management systems identify hazards and control risks associated with plant and structures

·         Routine inspections of plant and structures are undertaken to ensure good working order

·         Plant and structures undergo regular and appropriate maintenance.


Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017, the safety alert said mine operators must:

·         Identify all mining hazards at their mine and assess the risks to health and safety from those, so far as is reasonably practicable

·         Implement risk controls that eliminate or reduce risks

·         Establish and implement a sms for the mine which provides a comprehensive and integrated management system for all identified risks.