Resources Safety & Health Queensland has reported an incident where a dozer had rolled over on a ridge of a sand dune on the 15th September 2020.
According to the report, the dozer operator was creating a track on a ridge of a sand dune when the dozer slid sideways and veered to the right-hand side. The dozer was still stable at this point and only rolled over when the operator tried to reverse back up onto the ridge. The operator was wearing the seat belt and was not injured.
The technique for creating a track is to staddle the ridge and keep the blade height so that sufficient material comes around both ends of the blade to form a window on either side. This will ensure that there is a sound bed for the tracks to run on.
The report showed, “the blade was raised too high, consequently, no windrow was being created on the right-hand side and there was no material to support the track on this side.”
After the dozer slid sideways and was stable at that point, the operator did not use the radio to ask for advice from their supervisor.
To rectify the situation the dozer should have been driven forwards down the slope. The operator had not created a track by straddling a sand dune ridge before. There was a reliance on workers to speak up if an allocated task is beyond their capability. The Job Safety Analysis did not document why the height of the blade was critical.
Resources Safety & Health Queensland’s recommendations:
- The workers carrying out the job safety analysis should include an operator familiar with the task.
- Effective controls must be in place to prevent uncontrolled movements associated with operating mobile plant on steep gradients.
- Operator training should be reviewed to ensure they understand that when faced with a difficult situation they should contact their supervisors for advice.
- The supervisor should check and record that operators are competent and confident they can implement the agreed controls.
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