Far too many incidents occur due to the interaction of heavy vehicles with light vehicles and pedestrians.
A sobering fact is that 27% of Surface Mine incidents (35% of Quarry incidents) involve vehicles and traffic (MinEx stats 2015/17).
Much of the focus on controls has been on communication and being able to identify the presence of light vehicles and pedestrians in the work areas of heavy vehicles.
Commonly used controls include:
- Positive 2 way Communication (UHF, handheld 2-way)
- Light Vehicle identification (Hi-vis paint, flags etc)
- Traffic management procedures (1 way traffic, stop signs etc)
- Separation of HV and LV traffic (often difficult on smaller quarry sites)
- Proximity detection (GPS, sensors, cameras).
While these controls do assist in reducing the risk of an incident, separating heavy vehicles, light vehicles, and pedestrians will stop fatalities and serious accidents from occurring.
- Separate or divided haul roads for heavy and light vehicles
- Ensuring all mobile plant stops operating if someone is on foot in a work area
- Viewing platforms above pits so that supervisors do not have to enter the pit
- Moving material test pads away from loader operating areas
- Light vehicle entry to work areas restricted to meal breaks or time when machines are not operating.
We do know that pedestrians and light vehicle drivers will not be run over by heavy vehicles if they do not enter areas where heavy equipment is operating.
All of the common controls currently used will assist, but if we start with the concept of complete separation, and work hard at this, we will give ourselves a good shot at reducing the extremely alarming incidence of heavy vehicles coming into contact with light vehicles and pedestrians.
For more help and information visit this WorkSafe link.