The NSW Resources Regulator has been investigating the incident which occurred at Albury Quarry on 10 April, 2018 during a standard drill and blast operation.
Burgess Earthmoving operates the quarry and Hamiltons Blasting Services was contracted to conduct the blast.
According to a statement from the NSW Resources Regulator in late January, the contractor “undertook the blasting preparations and conducted the blast. The contractor estimated the blast exclusion zone for personnel to be 400 to 500 metres from the blast site.
“Preliminary enquiries have identified that mine workers and members of the public were between 300 and 340 metres from the blast location. Flyrock from the blast travelled through the air and damaged three light vehicles parked a short distance away from people. Seven people were at risk of being struck by flyrock.
“The cause of the ejection of the flyrock has not been determined at this time.”
The incident wasn’t immediately reported; it came to the attention of the regulator on 7 September, 2018. This was outside the statutory reporting period required by legislation.
The NSW Resources Regulator is investigating the incident to determine its causes and circumstances. It will also examine the late reporting of the incident.
A report will be prepared for the Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
The Resources Regulator published safety observations advice in its information statement on 21 January:
“Mine operators are reminded that appropriate systems must be in place to review and audit the explosives control plan and blasting work practices to ensure that exclusion zone requirements are enforced. No persons should remain within exclusion zones during blasting activities.
“Dangerous incidents must be reported to the NSW Resources Regulator in accordance with section 15 of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 and regulations.”
Quarry has been in contact with both parties behind the blast. David Hamilton, director of Hamiltons Blasting Service, declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.
Burgess Earthmoving was also approached for a statement but did not provide a comment prior to publication.
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