Damaged front end of service truck after the crash at the Maules Creek Mine on April 21, 2018. PHOTO: NSW Resources Regulator
Damaged front end of service truck after the crash at the Maules Creek Mine on April 21, 2018. PHOTO: NSW Resources Regulator

NSW mine faces $1.5 million fine over truck crash

A NEW South Wales mining company faces a $1.5 million fine over a truck crash that hospitalised one of its employees. 

The NSW Resources Regulator has started prosecution proceedings against Whitehaven Coal, with the crash happening at Maules Creek mine near Narrabri on April 21, 2018 and involved two trucks. 

The Regulator alleges Maules Creek Coal Pty Ltd contravened Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, by failing to comply with a health and safety duty under Section 19 of the Act.

The alleged Category 2 offence has a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

The report into the incident by NSW Resources Regulator major investigations unit manager Steve Orr revealed intersection traffic control rules were changed one day prior to the incident in which a Caterpillar 773 100-tonne service truck hit the side of a fully-laden Hitachi EH5000 500-tonne haul truck.

The crash resulted in "catastrophic damage" to the service truck and the 43-year-old driver received serious injuries and was flown to hospital for treatment. 

Although both vehicles were travelling under the mine's 60km/hr limit, the haul truck reportedly stopped about 100 metres past the impact point. 

The driver suffered back, shoulder and wrist injuries and was flown to hospital. 

Mr Orr told the Northern Daily Leader both truck drivers believed they had right of way before the collision and that the intersection stop signs had been relocated the day before the incident but the change had not been communicated to staff. 

The matter is set for mention in the NSW District Court in Sydney on February 10, 2020.

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