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Safety warning after worker left stranded offshore on active tailings dam in NSW

Aug 15th 2022

Safety warning after worker left stranded offshore on active tailings dam in NSW

The NSW Resources Regulator has issued a safety alert after a worker was left stranded for seven hours when an excavator became immobilised about 200m offshore in the NSW Hunter Valley.

The Resources Regulator said the 14-tonne amphibious excavator was immobilised after one of its tracks was damaged.

The incident happened in June 2022.

“The emergency procedure relied on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) as the sole means of rescuing people from the dam but when needed to be used, the ATV could not be driven on the dam,” the NSW Resources Regulator said in the safety alert issued early this month.

“The rescue plan for the excavator operator relied on the ATV, but the ATV could not gain traction across the tailings and was unable to travel far from the shore before having to return.”

The excavator operator was rescued after seven hours, and no injuries were reported.

To see the full safety alert, visit the NSW Resources Regulator’s website.

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