A crane overturned at the Roy Hill iron ore mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia on Tuesday, the third incident in recent months.
In the latest incident a crane tipped at the construction site of the mine - which is located 115 kilometres north of Newman - during a commissioning and testing procedure being supervised by an independent equipment inspector. The inspector was assessing and validating the equipment and competency of the crane operator in accordance with the requirements of an earlier prohibition notice issued by Western Australia’s Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), following two previous incidents, one with a crane and one with an aerial work platform.
Thankfully no one has been injured in any of the incidents. The prohibition notices only cover one area of the mine construction project. We do not have any details yet of what type or size of crane was involved in the overturning or ‘tipping’ incident.
The company said that “The test was undertaken in a controlled environment and was being supervised by the inspector, who was mobilised to site by Leighton Construction. The crane was not lifting anything at the time and no injuries occurred. All crane activities at the mine have been suspended pending an investigation.”
The chief executive of Roy Hill, Barry Fitzgerald, added: “The company recognises there have been some serious issues in regards to safe lifting and crane operations being undertaken by head contractor, Samsung C&T and Leighton Construction at the mine processing plant construction site. The incidents that have occurred are not acceptable; and we continue to cooperate fully with the DMP to ensure lifting operations can be undertaken safely and without incident.”
“We take this issue very seriously as it does not reflect our values and how we work at Roy Hill. We have escalated this issue to the highest levels within Samsung C&T and Leighton Construction to ensure this matter receives the attention and focus it demands. We have also seconded our most senior safety person to Samsung C&T to drive a step change in regards to safe lifting operations.”