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Driller's assistant seriously injured at CSA mine

The NSW Resources Regulator has launched an investigation into a serious incident at CSA mine near Cobar in central NSW. 

Two workers operating a drill rig were conducting diamond drilling at the 8470 EXP level of the mine about 1.35am on 11 April 2024. 

The driller’s assistant was operating an overshot, which, when not in use, was normally positioned on the jump up stand. 

A miscommunication between the workers meant the driller’s assistant returned to the jump up stand several times while the drill rig operator positioned the outer tube so his assistant could insert the overshot. 

Shortly after, the driller’s assistant fell backwards off the stand onto the ground about half a metre below and became unconscious, suffering serious head injuries. 

The driller saw the overshot suspended by a cable about one metre from the top of the mast, swinging back and forth. 

The injured worker was taken to Cobar District Hospital and later transferred to Westmead Hospital. 

The Regulator is investigating the cause and circumstances of the incident and will explore the equipment involved, plant design and operation, training and procedures. 

Mine operators and plant contractors are reminded of their duty under WHS laws to manage the risks associated with an object falling on a worker. 

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