Gordon Wood 1990

19/12/1990 - Goonyella Riverside Mine - Outrush

At the commencement of the morning shift on 19 December 1990, Gordon Dudley Wood together with 2 other men were attempting to clear a blockage in ROM 1 at Goonyella Riverside mine. To effect clearance Wood was utilising a high pressure water hose on the top of the R.O.M. 1 hopper whilst the second man had entered the chute to remove pieces of coal and rock by hand. It appears Wood arranged for water to be applied to the hopper bin via the spray bars on the water truck in lieu of the water truck fire hose. Wood then proceeded down the stairs to the top of the apron feeder cover. A short time later there was an outrush of coal and water. Wood's coworker was caught up in this outrush but managed to extricate himself with only minor injuries. Both coworkers state they heard Wood call out. It was then realised Wood had disappeared from the apron feeder where he was last positively sighted. After a search and removal of some coal, the body of Wood was recovered from the conveyor.

The panel considers it more probable than not that Wood left the top of the chute area and proceeded to the platform that allows access to the conveyor belt. At this time, the first outrush of coal occurred and the events that followed precipitated a heart attack, resulting in Wood being engulfed in the flowing material.

This accident claimed the life of Gordon Wood


The panel recommends consideration be given to removal of blockages by mechanical means from the top of the R.O.M. bin to minimise the need for personnel engaged in cleaning out or blasting operations at the base of the R.O.M. hopper. We note the amended and upgraded procedures already in place, but recommend that a review be conducted in relation to work being carried out in tail pulley areas whilst bin cleaning operations are in progress.

It is recommended that if water is added to the bin from the R.O.M. truck grid, there should be strict control over the quantity of water used by a responsible person.

It is recommended that careful attention be paid to eliminating the possibility of metal to metal contact between the skirt plates and feeder flights whenever maintenance or repair work is carried out on this equipment.