Fall brings rise in accidents

By |  October 16, 2015

msha-logoThe Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) points out that this time of year brings an increase in accidents, often while moving equipment into storage and breaking down equipment for major repairs. It is in the fall, says MSHA, that many intermittent aggregate operations are preparing for the winter season and performing annual shutdown or repair activities.

“During seasonal transition,” the agency says in a recent seasonal safety alert, “miners may engage in new or unfamiliar tasks, working with equipment they service only once a year, or assisting maintenance personnel on jobs they rarely perform.”

Potentially hazardous tasks include:

  • Disassembling conveyors and transporting and storing sections.
  • Rigging, lifting and towing equipment.
  • Rebuilding crushers and screens.
  • Winterizing sand wash facilities.

Best practices that should be followed:

  • Identify hazards through effective workplace exams.
  • Provide effective task training.
  • Lock out and block equipment against hazardous motion.
  • Provide necessary personal protective equipment.

Operator safety and health

It isn’t just about safety: Operator health is also important. Volvo and other makers of operator-driven equipment have targeted the vibration and noise levels (both internal and external) of their machines for continual reduction. For example, Volvo says its machines are equipped with low-emission, low-noise engines, as well as anti-vibration components that help manage a variety of operating conditions and shock inputs, from rough terrain to accidental impacts and loading/unloading heavy burdens.

Operator fatigue (and the ensuing lack of concentration it may lead to) is a major factor in many site accidents, so making operators as comfortable as possible offers real safety advantages. Also, the comfort and support of seats takes on a much greater importance when operators can be sitting on them for up to 12 hours a day.

Whatever the season, follow these tips to ensure the safety and health of you and others at your operation.

About the Author:

Darren Constantino is an editor of Pit & Quarry magazine. He can be reached at dconstantino@northcoastmedia.net.

Comments are closed