ACCIDENT PREVENTION IN THE QUARRY INDUSTRY IN SA July 2011

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1 ACCIDENT PREVENTION IN THE QUARRY INDUSTRY IN SA July 2011 Introduction Accident prevention requires the creation and maintenance of a safe working environment, and the promotion of safe behaviour. Accident prevention began as a reactive process. This was based largely on waiting for accidents or ill health to happen and then devising and implementing some form of control to prevent these types of accident or ill health from reoccurring in the future. As a result, such controls that are found in industry have been very much reactive in their creation. A simplified view of this traditional approach is given in the figure below: Accident Investigate accident-process and outcome steered by the pre-conceptions of the investigators about accident causation. Attribute primary cause to shortcomings in the behaviour of the injure person.(unsafe Act) Attribute primary cause to shortcomings in the physical working environment (Unsafe Conditions) Devise a RULE forbidding the behaviour identified to prevent a re-occurrence of the unsafe act. Devise a TECHNICAL solution (e.g. guards, PPE) to make the conditions safe to protect people. Typical examples of unsafe acts and conditions in quarrying operations are: Unsafe Acts Operating equipment at improper speeds Operating equipment with authority Using equipment improperly Using defective equipment Failure to wear PPE Taking and improper working position Servicing equipment in motion Defeating safety devices Unsafe Conditions Inadequate guards Defective tools or equipment Congestion of working area Poor Housekeeping Excessive noise Poor illumination

2 Control Measures In Industry today, including the quarrying industry, safety is controlled through a combination of engineered measures such as the provision of safety protection i.e. guarding and warning systems, and operational measures in training, safe work practices, operating procedures and method statements, along with management supervision. These measures (collectively) are commonly known as health and safety terms as control measures. Some of these more common measures will be explained in more detail below. Engineered Control Measures The most common type of engineering control measure are guards and safety devices on machinery. A guard implies a physical barrier whereas a safety device is defined as any other non physical measures for providing the desired level of protection, such as interlocks, pressure sensitive trips tec. In all new machines, guards should be designed in as an inherent part of the machine, while in existing machines guards should be designed so as to provide the necessary protection while allowing the machine to be operated with the minimum of disruption. Operating procedures/safe System of Work Operating procedures are probably the most common form of control measure used in industry today and may be the most economical and in some cases, the only practical way of managing a particular risk. They should allow for methodical execution of tasks. The development of safe operating procedures should address the hazards that have been identified in the risk assessment. It is the duty of the quarry operator to ensure that rules and procedures are in place for reasons of health and safety. A safe system of work is a method of doing a job which eliminates identified hazards, controls others and plans to achieve the controlled completion of the work with minimum risk. It may include a range of precautions from simple lock off procedures and protective equipment through to a full written permit to work system. Safe systems of work are fundamental to accident prevention and should fully document the hazards, precautions and safe working methods. Safe Systems of Work 1. Safe Design 2. Safe Installation 3. Safe premises and plant 4. Safe tools and equipment 5. Correct use of plant, tools and equipment 6. Effective planned maintenance of plant and equipment (via training and supervision) 7. Proper working environment ensuring adequate lighting, heating and ventilation 8. Trained and competent employees 9. Adequate and competent supervision 10. Enforcement of safety policy and rules 11. Additional protection for vulnerable employees 12. Formalised issue and proper utilisation of all necessary protective clothing Page 2 of 5

3 13. Continued emphasis on adherence to the agreed safe method of work 14. Regular (annual) reviews of all systems of work to ensure: Compliance with current legislation Systems are still workable in practice Plant modifications are accounted for Substituted materials are allowed for New work methods are incorporated into the system Advances in technology are exploited Proper precautions in light of any accidents are taken Continued involvement in and awareness of the importance of written safe systems of work 15. Regular feedback to all concerned Maintenance As a control measure, maintenance is concerned with the reliability of machines or equipment. Maintenance is essential to protect people and the operation and is an essential element of operational activities. Any machine, equipment or plant developed for long term use will require either preventative or corrective, in order to keep it in a safe and reliable condition. Training Training helps people acquire skills, knowledge and attitudes to make them competent in the health and safety aspects of their work. There are generally two types of safety training: Specific safety training (or on the job training) which aims at tasks where training is needed due to the specific nature of such tasks. This is usually a job for supervisors, who by virtue of their authority and close daily contact, are in a position to convert safety generalities to the everyday safe practice procedures that apply to individual tasks, machines, tools and processes. Planned training, such as general safety training, induction training, management training, skill training or refresher courses that are planned by the organisation, and relate to managing risk through policy, legislative or organisational requirements, that are common to all employees. Before any employee can work safely they must be shown safe procedures for completing their tasks. The purpose of safety training should be to improve the safety awareness of employees, and show them how to perform their jobs employing acceptable safe behaviour. Personnel Protective Equipment Personnel protective equipment (PPE) may be broadly divided as follows: Hearing protection Respiratory protection Eye and face protection Protective clothing Page 3 of 5

4 PPE is different from other control measures it that it does nothing to stop the hazard at sources, but simply provides protection to reduce the severity of the potential accident. It is only an effective control if worn and so any organisation which provides for the issue of the PPE, such as the quarrying industry, should : Carry adequate stock Be accessible to appropriate times Can respond to changing demands Have a system for exchanging equipment Be managed to ensure its effective running This last factor is most important and should consist of the following: Training/coaching emphasising the hazards and risks Management and supervisors leading by example Careful and consistent monitoring and advice for those seen not wearing protection. The following table gives details of PPE and the essential requirements and considerations necessary to effectively manage a PPE System. PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS(1) WHERE EYES HEAD FOOT/TOE Where machines or Where there is danger Operations present a from impact and danger from flung penetration from falling or objects, direct or flying objects or from reflected brightness, limited electric shock. hazardous liquids, or injurious radiation. In areas where there is a potential for foot or toe injuries. TYPES OF PROTECTION Goggles, full face shields, safety glasses, side-shields, welders lenses (should meet Safety hats full brim, brimless, limited voltage protection, no voltage protection (should meet Impact & compression Resistance, metatarsal protection, puncture resistance, electrical hazard resistance, conductive (should meet FITTING REQUIREMENTS Comfortable fit (not interfere with Movement). Comfortable, proper fit. Proper fit. SUGGESTED RECORDS Date issued, type issued, instructions given (need to wear, Date issued, type issued, instructions given (need to wear, Date issued, amount reimbursed, instructions given (need to wear, Page 4 of 5

5 EXAMINATIONS Visual acuity, depth, Perception. PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS (2) WHERE Hands Hearing Respiratory Danger of cuts, or from handling corrosives, solvents, or other chemicals Noise exposure that equals or exceeds 85 dba in an 5 hour time weighted period. In areas that present limited breathable environment or the possibility of an oxygen-deficient environment or air contamination. TYPES OF PROTECTION FITTING REQUIREMENTS SUGGESTED RECORDS Cotton/leather gloves: gauntlets, heat-resistant Gloves: barrier creams Chain mail gloves, haly gloves: rubber gloves. (Should meet Proper fit. Date issued, reissued, Type issued, Instructions given, (need to wear conservation, Full muffs, disposable plugs, Swedish wool, nondisposable plugs. (Should meet Proper fit, correct type for noise exposure. Audiometric exam, date issued, instructions given (need to wear, effects of noise, cleaning, conservation, fitting, Air-purifying respirators, chemical cartridge respirators, air supplied respirators, combination respirators, self contained breathing devices (Should meet Significant fitting requirements Date issued, reissued, type issued, instructions given (respiratory hazards present, functions, fit testing, proper utilisation, cleaning and conservation, EXAMINATIONS Audiometric (Baseline and Annual) Pulmonary function. P O Box 1983 Tel: Ruimsig 1732 Page 5 of 5

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