MAYHEM AT THE MINES: 20 Shots Of The Chaos On The Front Lines Of Australia's Key Industry

This year’s major economic theme in Australia has been how the country will adjust to the slowdown in mining investment. The sector has been driving the nation’s economy for the past decade as the boom in China created insatiable demand for the deposits under Australian soil.

The people on the front lines of this industry — those in the quarries and pits all over the country — are in extraordinary work environments with huge machines and often at great personal risk.

This is why occupational health and safety is paramount in every mine. It’s rumoured you can’t walk down the stairs at any BHP facility without holding a handrail.

But machines break, accidents happen – and with the huge pieces of equipment used for smashing rocks and hauling tonnes of material around a mine site, when things go wrong, the results can be spectacular.

Thanks to our friends atMining Mayhem and Australian Mining we’ve gathered 20 stunning photos that show the chaos and dangers of working in an industry that’s been driving the national economy. Many of the incidents shown happened in Australia.

Check out the slides below for some of the stunning photos. If you like what you see, check out their Facebook page.

Stay safe.

Everyone makes mistakes.

These trucks are so big, a puny ute is the automotive equivalent of an ant. The driver clearly missed this one, and it got squashed

This truck flipped over.

That's why you make sure the hand brake is on.

Going for a swim.

This truck is either being washed by a friendly crane. Or it fell in. Luckily when one massive machine gets into a pinch, there's more equally-large ones to rescue it.

Up in flames.

If there was one truck, in the whole mine, which you do not want to catch on fire -- it's the water truck used for fire-fighting. Here's hoping there was a spare.

This guy must have been having a bad day ...

Office jokes can be fun. But crushing your friend's car during your lunch break is not cool. Either that, or someone parked in the (very) wrong spot

A turn for the worse.

That's why you don't let the mining intern drive the steam roller.

Should have checked twice

When you are doing the same thing every day, it is easy to make simple mistakes. It just sucks when your mistake wrecks a perfectly good pipeline.

Truck comes off second best after fighting a wall.

When you fall asleep at the wheel, bad things happen.

BHP versus RIO?

Mining dodgem cars!

It isn't meant to do that ...

This is not a cool way to make the truck look like it is waving goodbye. It's just broken. Really broken.

Another tumble.

Drinks are definitely on this guy after work on Friday.

Digger fail

That's not a piece of abstract sculpture. It is a crane that fell over.

The sign on the back of this truck is not wrong.

No exaggeration here.

Not all trucks.

This is a photo of a Black Head Python eating a Goanna, one inch at a time.

Over-estimated the weight-rating

Must have been something REALLY heavy in that shipping container

This one is orange.

'That's the eighteenth time today!', Bob said, before realising the multi-story truck he was standing under could come unstuck at any second.

A broken truck from the 70's

Hipsters are everywhere. Even in mines, taking photos of their trucks to post to Instagram. Not really ... It's just a broken truck from the 70's. Nice shorts buddy!

Lucky no one was hurt.

Not again. The old 'cover the bosses truck in coal' trick. a timeless gag.

Saved this one.

The truck on the other side of the rope is either twice as big as the one which has managed to fall of a cliff, or it's Chuck Norris hauling it to safety.

Might as well get comfortable.

This guy does not look like he is going anywhere in a hurry.

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