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Mines Safety Significant Incident Report No. 106

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A truck mounted vacuum suction unit was being used to clean up fine and lump material at an ore processing plant, with the truck at ground level and the hose operator on a floor some 20m above.

The 6 cylinder 187 kw diesel engine driven vacuum pump was capable of inducing up to 1 bar suction and 2500 litres/sec through a 100 mm diameter convoluted rubber hose. A force of some 80 kg is developed at the nozzle.

On hearing over the radio communication system that the vacuum system was not functioning correctly, the unit operator checked the hose line from the truck to the operating floor. As the end of the hose was passed back to the hose operator, that person’s left hand and arm was sucked into the hose up to the shoulder. It took both persons up to 30 seconds to pull the hose off. The injured person suffered soft tissue internal damage requiring surgery and skin grafts.


Department of Minerals and Energy Western Australia

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Relates to Western Australia (WA)

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Western Australia




Government of Western Australia


29 Feb 2000

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