Avoiding injuries caused by mobile machines

While some uncertainty still exists about the management of trackless mobile machines (TMM) on surface mines, mining association Aspasa, being proactive, is walking some of its members through the process to test and ensure compliance with legislation. 

Aspasa’s visit to PPC’s Dwaalboom quarry assessed measures already in place to achieve the highest levels of compliance with current and future legislation. This enabled quarry management to evaluate their compliance and gave Aspasa’s technical experts an opportunity to share insights and put measures to the test. 

Aspasa director, Nico Pienaar said the overview highlighted the importance of thorough TMM Risk Assessment on every mining site. While new legislation requires establishment of physical and technological measures to prevent machine-on-machine and machine-on-man accidents, these measures can only be identified by compiling a true and extensive risk assessment to determine appropriate preventative measures. 

“Much has been said about compiling TMM Risk Assessments to determine every possible risk wherever TMMs are used in an operation. The PPC Dwaalboom visit gave us the opportunity to evaluate its accuracy and experience the difficulties of implementing risk averting measures in a real-world operational mine. 

“Having taken PPC through the steps of transforming the generic Aspasa group-level TMM Risk Evaluation into a PPC site-specific evaluation, we also had the opportunity to measure the effectiveness of their controls and see how the evaluation actually feeds into the site’s official TMM Risk Assessment,” noted Pienaar. 

The results were encouraging and points of interest were identified for further analysis. Tips were presented to further decrease interactions between vehicles and people. Aspasa regarded PPC Dwaalboom’s application of one-way traffic was particularly effective and could serve as a basis for other mines to follow.  

“Our input on Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) practices to improve the safe movement of people and machines will be incorporated into the overall plan. We must keep improving health and safety measures and share them with the industry. These are not competitive advantages, so what we learn here should be pooled and shared to everyone’s advantage,” concluded Pienaar. 

More information from Nico Pienaar, Tel: +27(0)11 791 3327 / email: nico@aspasa.co.za /  www.aspasa.co.za