Tripper Chute Redesign Eliminates Confined Space Entry

Location: Paraburdoo, Western Australia

Material Handled: Iron Ore

Handling System: Conveyor

Handling Rate: 7000 Tonnes per Hour (TPH)


An iron ore mine in the Pilbara had a tripper chute on the conveyor system for feeding into the screen surge bins.

Maintenance on the tripper chute was carried out on an ad hoc basis as shutdown durations rarely allowed enough time to scaffold the chute and replace liners in the trouser leg.

The bin discharge chute was usually run to destruction as there were no opportunities to scaffold upwards from the bin.

The design created manual handling injury risk for both the personnel working inside the chute and those working externally from the conveyor to fasten wear liners. Confined space rules applied before any maintenance could commence.


WEARX redesigned the tripper chute trouser leg back and side walls to incorporate a split drop-down floor to provide easy access to the high wearing areas of the lining system.

The changes incorporated a removable door insert/rock box ledge to the bin discharge chute. Once removed, the insert could be taken away and maintained in the workshop.

A safety platform was designed for installation into the door space which prevented any falls into the exposed bin below and provided access to the lower liner rows in the trouser leg.

The lowering of the trouser leg, removal of the door and installation of the safety platform could be completed within an hour of conveyor isolation.

After all the changes were implemented, the site safety management team confirmed personnel were no longer required to enter confined spaces