It is unfortunate that, in Western Australia, there are many mining fatalities every year. It has been estimated that there have been at least six mining fatalities in WA in 2017. They range from fatal falls to explosions caused by machinery mishaps. This blog will look at mitigating safety risks around mobile equipment on mine sites and the necessary steps for doing so.
Equipment safety procedures are important for any workplace to ensure the safety of workers and prevent accidents. In the mining industry, safety is especially critical due to the high-risk nature of the work and the use of heavy machinery. The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum has published a guide for mobile equipment selection, which includes detailed safety procedures for mining operations.
Here are the essential safety procedures for mining:
Pre-start inspections: The pre-start inspection should be conducted by the operator and can be done anywhere from 1-3 hours before equipment operation. The inspection should take a few minutes to complete. A pre-start inspection must be conducted before equipment operation as it allows for any faults or problems to be flagged and fixed, thus eliminating any safety hazards. Any defects or damage should be immediately reported to the supervisor, and the equipment should not be used until it is repaired.
Seat belts: All mobile equipment operators must wear seat belts at all times. Seat belts are essential for keeping operators safe during a sudden stop or crash.
Hand signals: Hand signals should be used when mobile machinery is operated near workers when there is a danger of a collision. At least two non-mobile workers must be stationed on the operator’s side and always monitor the equipment. These workers must be able to communicate with the operator and are expected to give hand signals if there is a danger of a collision nearby.
Traffic management: Traffic management is crucial for preventing accidents involving mobile equipment. This includes the use of signage, barriers, and designated traffic routes. Operators should also be encouraged to slow down before approaching heavy machinery or operating near workers.
Speed limits: Speed limits should be established and enforced for all mobile equipment. This includes speed limits for mine areas, such as haul roads, pit areas, and loading areas. Operators should be trained to adhere to these speed limits and adjust their speed based on the conditions of their working area.
Use of lights: The use of lights on mobile equipment is essential for safety. All mobile equipment must have lights, including reflectors and safety lights. These lights should be kept on at all times during operation.
Rollover protection:Mobile equipment should have rollover protection devices like roll bars or cages. These devices are designed to protect operators during a rollover or tip-over. It is essential to ensure that these devices are in good working condition and that operators are trained to use them correctly. See more Mine spec Vehicle requirments here
Maintenance: Regular maintenance is important for ensuring the safety and reliability of mobile equipment. This includes regular inspections, fluid changes, and repairs as needed. Qualified personnel should perform maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
By following these procedures, mining companies can ensure the safety of their workers and prevent accidents. It is extremely important to ensure that the necessary procedures are followed. This is because mobile equipment can cause serious injuries, including death. The consequences of an accident for the company and the community are likely to be very costly regarding medical expenses, repairs, and lost production time.
By taking a proactive approach to safety, companies can reduce costs by preventing accidents and litigation. Pre-start inspections, seat belts, traffic management, speed limits, use of lights, rollover protection, and maintenance are all critical components of a comprehensive safety program for mobile equipment. By incorporating these procedures into their safety programs, mining companies can create a safer workplace for their employees.
You can also contact the experts at Locked in Garage for any mine spec vehicle upgrades. They can give you the best recommendations for your needs and requirements.