There is a concerning increase of reports of fires on mobile plant in New South Wales. The reported fires have generally been caused by either the escape of fluids ignited by the hot surface of an engine, or electrical wiring faults.

Fires on mobile plant are dangerous for the operator when they inhale the products of the fire; are burned by flames; or fall while exiting large mining vehicles. Fires on mobile plant in underground mines can be particularly dangerous due to the enclosed spaces involved, large amounts of smoke and toxic gases and difficulty in evacuating. Risks to workers from fires underground are higher than risks of fire on surface vehicles as more people are potentially exposed to the products of fire. A fire in an underground coal mine has the potential to escalate to a catastrophic event.

We recognise the need to prevent fires in mines and to minimise the severity of a fire event, should it occur.