Introduction Workers who must interact with heavy equipment on mine property are at a high risk for injury. Federal law dictates that workers have a safe working place. When workers must interact with machinery visibility problems, poor communication and defective warning devices can cause serious hazards.
Statistics According to the National Institute of Safety and Health, on average 40 incidents involving powered haulage equipment occur each year at surface mining operations. 14 fatalities have occurred during the last five years in the M/NM alone. Maintenance workers are at a high risk for injury.
Visibility Problems Blind spots are caused by cab configuration and the enormous size of equipment. Visibility problems are caused by natural and artificial light. Bad weather can cause visibility problems, fog, rain, and snow are examples.
Communication Communication must be two way communication. Both the equipment operator and person working on the ground is responsible for communication. Communication can occur by radio, hand signals, and eye contact as well as many other ways.
Warning Devices Its imperative that warning devices such as horns, back-up alarms, strobe lights, video cameras etc. be maintained in operating condition. Alarms must be audible above surrounding noise levels. Workers must never ignore warning devices no matter how accustomed they become to hearing them.
Control Measures Traffic controls such as signs, lights etc. must be adhered to by equipment operators at all times. Designated walkways must be maintained and properly used. Areas where equipment have a swing radius such as cranes, backhoes, etc. should be barricaded to protect workers.
Responsibility Workers must be responsible for their own safety when working around mobile equipment making themselves visible by whatever means are necessary. Operators must do everything in their power to warn pedestrians of the location of heavy equipment and that the equipment is about to be put in motion.
Instructors Guide Discuss particular areas at your job-site where blind spots could be a hazard Discuss areas where light could cause visibility problems. Discuss the importance of keeping windshields clean and wipers and other accessories functional. Stress the importance of performing proper inspections
Instructors Guide Cont… Solicit suggestions from workers where additional signage or walkways may be needed. Re-enforce the need for communication. Review the quiz.
Quiz 1._____ incidents involving powered haulage equipment occur each year. 2.14 fatalities have occurred on M/NM mining in the past _____ years. 3.Blind spots are caused by equipment size and ______ _______. 4.Give three examples of weather related visibility problems.
Quiz Cont… 5.Communication can occur by radio, ____ _____, and hand ______. 6.Alarms must be audible above _____ noise levels. 7.Name three controls measures that will help eliminate pedestrian hazards. 8.What should equipment operators do before placing their machine in motion? 9.Which workers are at a high risk from heavy equipment?