Organisational Factors » LTA compatibility

92Alternate Radio Transmitter Signals Start Machine

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Brief Description of Incident/Accident & Description of Consequences/Outcomes:


A remote controlled machine was being tested in a surface workshop using radio remote control. The hydraulic pump on the machine started by itself.


The hydraulic pump flow rates and the speed of the hydraulic motors on the machine were being checked. The power supply to the machine was available, but the machine pump was not being operated.

Identified Root Causes:


A separate radio transmitter was having pre-use checks made before being sent underground for the oncoming shift. This was being done in the lamp cabin at the same time as the tests on the remote-controlled machine.

Service personnel were not operating the transmitter, and it was in a safe location. The radio receiver was not faulty in any way.

Energy Type(s) Involved:

Uncontrolled movement of equipment

Equipment Type(s):

Remote Control Unit

Root & Contributing Cause(s):

LTA awareness

LTA design

LTA equipment design

LTA hazard identification

LTA risk assessment

Stated or Potential Consequence(s):

Potential Fatality

Preventative/Recommended/Accepted Steps of Risk Mitigation, Points of Interest:

1. A risk assessment should be conducted on every radio controlled machine to identify and control possible signals which could start an unplanned movement.

2. All remote controlled machines operated by radio transmitted signals should be isolated from operating accidentally through alternate signals.

3. All radio remote controlled machinery on the surface of a mine should be prevented from operating in the radio-controlled mode if there is any possibility of operation through an alternate radio transmission.

4. Management without hard barriers (such as just controlling the location and the operation of a radio transmitter) is not a suitable way to prevent an incident such as this recurring. Other radio frequencies may need to be identified, located and effectively isolated.


New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Minerals and Petroleum


Here are the results.


Reference Type:

Mine Safety Report #SA01-18

Mine Type:

Any Mine Type


Potential & Kinetic - Mechanical > Moving machine part(s)





Australia, New South Wales

ICAM Categories

Organisational Factors

• LTA compatibility

• LTA compliance with electrical standards

• LTA equipment design

• LTA hazard analysis/job safety analysis

• LTA hazard identification

• LTA risk assessment

Task or Environmental Conditions


Individual or Team Actions


Failed or Absent Defences


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