Near miss from falling counterweight

WorkSafe Victoria is issuing a reminder about safety following a near miss when a counterweight hoist failed on a mining site.



A 20 tonne counterweight has fallen approximately 30 metres from its operating position. The area below the counterweight was isolated by a fence, resulting in no injuries. However, the supporting structure was significantly damaged.

Fallen mining counter weight.
Picture 1: Fallen mining counter weight.

Recommended ways to control the risks

To reduce the risk of plant failure, mine operators when establishing, implementing and reviewing their safety management system (SMS) should ensure:

  • risk management systems identify hazards and control risks associated with plant and structures
  • routine inspections of plant and structures are undertaken to ensure good working order
  • plant and structures undergo regular and appropriate maintenance.

Legal duties

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017, mine operators must:

  • identify all mining hazards at their mine and assess the risks to health and safety from those, so far as is reasonably practicable
  • implement risk controls that eliminate or reduce risks
  • establish and implement a SMS for the mine which provides a comprehensive and integrated management system for all identified risks.

Find more information

  • Australian Standard 2759-2004 Steel wire rope - Use, operation and maintenance

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