A HEAVY-VEHICLE collision at Maules Creek mine that left one worker seriously injured, was caused by a stop signage change that hadn't been properly communicated, an investigation by state's mining watchdog has revealed.
In April last year, a 100-tonne service truck and a 500-tonne dump truck collided at an intersection on the Whitehaven Coal mine site.
As the two vehicles entered the intersection, both drivers realised a collision was imminent and attempted to take evasive action.
The 100-tonne service truck collided with the side of the 500-tonne haul truck, resulting in "catastrophic damage" to the service truck.
The haul truck stopped about 100 metres past the impact point. Both were travelling under the mine's 60km/h speed limit.
Resources Regulator chief investigator Steve Orr said the investigation identified the intersection stop signs had been relocated the day before the incident, but the signage change had not been communicated to all workers.
"The investigation revealed that both truck drivers believed they had the right of way before the collision," Mr Orr said.
"The injured worker suffered back, shoulder and wrist injuries which were serious enough for him to be transported by helicopter to hospital, where he received medical treatment.
"Mine operators must conduct detailed risk assessments when major changes are made to mine roads and ensure that changes are communicated to all workers.
"We have released an animation about the incident to share what we learned from the investigation with the mining industry, and to hopefully prevent incidents of this nature from occurring in the future."
The Leader contacted Whitehaven Coal for comment, however they did not respond before the publishing deadline.