WA’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety recently issued a safety alert following an incident in which a service mechanic sustained serious hand injuries when struck by radiator fan blades on a generator.
On 29 October 2020, a contractor service mechanic serviced a generator that provided power to a mining village. The generator was on a hire agreement with a third-party supply company, which is a common arrangement for mines in Western Australia.
The service mechanic completed a general service of the 300 kVA generator, de-isolated it and brought it back on-line. He then conducted post-service inspections and clean-up, including wiping up oil and grease marks with a rag.
When the service mechanic leaned into the generator enclosure with a rag in his hand, it appears the rag and his hand were drawn into the rotating radiator fan blades causing serious injuries to his thumb, index and middle fingers.
The alert subsequently recommended a number of required actions to assist in the safe operation of generators: