The NSW Resources Regulator has released an incident report regarding a haul truck’s tray striking a walkway at an open-cut construction materials mine.
After tipping a load, a haul truck operator drove about 30 metres with the tray of the truck raised. The tray hit the walkway of a conveyor structure.
In response to the incident the Regulator stated: “Mine operators should ensure that tipping trucks are fitted with visual or audible warning devices and/or a device that will automatically stop or inhibit the movement of the truck while the tray is in the raised position. “
The Regulator also has referred to Plant contacting overhead powerlines and structures report.
The report shows: In recent years there have been a number of incidents where the elevated trays on dump trucks undertaking haulage activities on mine sites have come into contact with overhead powerlines or structures.
Fortunately the majority of incidents have not caused injuries, but the potential for injury is high. The sites have also sustained substantial damage to powerlines or site infrastructure that has significantly affected mining and processing activities on site.
Investigations have identified common causes. These include:
- Risk assessments failed to identify the overhead hazard.
- Work procedures were not fully followed; for example, moving off with the tray in the elevated position.
- Tray warning devices were either not fitted or had been disabled.
- Human error/complacency; for example, trucks had been driven with the trays up for more than 100m.
- Poor supervision of the plant operators; for example, repeat breaches of site rules.
- Trucks had not been assessed with reference to MDG15 – Guideline for mobile and transportable equipment for use in mines.
- Failure to identify or effectively implement “exclusion zones” for overhead powerlines, poles and transformers.
NSW Resources Regulator’s recommendations:
- Identify all work activities on the work site where plant can or is likely to come into contact with overhead powerlines or structures.
- Where there is an identified risk of plant coming into contact with overhead powerlines or structures, risk control measures must be implemented to manage those risks in accordance with the hierarchy of risk controls.
- Where overhead powerlines are present on site, EEA001 Audit checklist for management of overhead powerlines should be completed. Non-conformances identified should be assessed and corrective actions taken to eliminate or minimise risks as per 2 above.
- Ensure visual or audible warning devices are fitted and/or a device that will automatically stop or inhibit the movement of the truck while the tray is in the raised position. Refer to MDG15 Guidelines for mobile and transportable equipment for use in mines.
- Provide for adequate supervision and training to ensure operators are aware of procedures should contact be made with powerlines i.e. emergency procedures and reference to local energy supplier for advice.
- Exclusion zones must be established around the plant if contact occurs with energised power lines. These should remain in place for a minimum 24 hour period due to the risk of tyre explosion.
- Consult with workers (in accordance with Section 47 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011) in carrying out the recommendations.
- Use a change management process to document any changes in the mine safety management plan / traffic management plan and communicate those changes to all employees.
- Review the traffic management plan on a regular and planned basis.
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