One of the indispensable tasks of operators of heavy machinery is to know the specific dangers and risks to which it is exposed. The General Directorate of Industry, Energy and Mines of Murcia gives some prevention recommendations for a safe and quality work.
The mobile machinery within the mining has more and more importance. The current machines are safer and are equipped with more support for the operator. Nevertheless, the risks due to the conditions of exploitation have not changed: they are present in all operations.
The work to be done with the mobile mining machinery can be divided into four large groups:
Next, each one of them will be described and the prevention measures to take into account to eliminate or reduce the risks present in each case.
This activity can be divided into two large blocks:
- Extraction of aggregates.
- Start of ornamental rocks.
In the exploitation of aggregates with low fronts and loose materials (sands, gravel pits, etc.,), the starting is done directly with the loaders. The rest of the start-up work is done with the use of explosives, usually supplemented with backhoes or bulldozers.
When handling a backhoe:
- Make sure that the working platform is horizontal and that the entire crawler train is seated in it.
- If the machine is of wheels, place and secure the stabilizers. They are designed to prevent the operator from turning over when performing work maneuvers.
- When the work is done in the upper part of the bench, it will be necessary to check the stability of the edge of the same before placing the machine.
- Remember that the track train or the set of wheels and stabilizers must be perpendicular to the edge of the bench or the platform.
- If it is placed in parallel, the risk of tipping over the edge of the platform or bank is considerably increased.
- When you move from one point to another from the front, you should never cross the slope of the front, as this can cause the machine to overturn.
The correct operation is:
- Go down the slope with the spoon and the arm picked up and in front of the machine.
- Moving through a horizontal zone to the vertical of the new site.
- Go up the slope again, with your arm up and in front, until you get to the new work point. It may take a little more time, but the risk of tipping is completely eliminated.
When driving a bulldozer:
- When the work is carried out in the upper part of the bank, near the slope, remember that you will have to approach it in forward motion and keeping the blade facing the edge. The mentioned thing will avoid a possible sinking of the slope caused by the weight of the machine and implies the overturning of the same.
- When working on the slope itself, it should always be done with the blade in front and pushing the material from top to bottom, following the line of maximum slope.
- To move from one point to another from the front, never go through the slope of it, since this can cause the bulldozer to tip over.
The correct operation It is the same as in the previous case:
- You must descend down the slope with the blade as low as possible and in front of the machine.
- Move through a horizontal zone to the vertical of the new site.
- Climb up the slope again, with the blade as low as possible and in front, until you reach the new work point.
In the exploitations of ornamental rock, the shovel of modified front is used with a pusher, hydraulic or not. Its function is to push the block during the process of turning or folding them.
During this process:
- Make sure that nobody is within the radius of action of the machine and the overturning of blocks.
- Respect at all times the indications and signals of the person responsible for turning.
- If the pusher is not hydraulic, place a block barrier on the edge of the slope.
In loading operations, the shovel and the dumper must be as far as possible from the front. When the operator approaches the foot of the slope to load the shovel, it will have to do it perpendicular to it. The structure of the machine will protect it in the event of landslides of the ground or impacts of stone fragments.
The shovel will be waiting for the dumper with the spoon raised, indicating the place where you must stop to be charged. The loading process will be done by the back or the side of the dumper. The spoon should not be passed over the cabin, since it puts the safety of the partner at risk.
During the process of loading the vehicle, if the cabin does not have a reinforced structure, the operator must leave it and move away from the radius of action of the shovel. If the cabin has a reinforced structure, it is better not to leave it at any time. This is because it will be a protective element against possible stones that can be detached from the front or from the loading process itself.
When loading ornamental rock blocks on a truck or on a dumper, the operator must ensure that the load is well centered and placed in such a way that you can continue to load more blocks, if necessary. Begin the process of loading blocks in the front of the box. In the case that you just have to load a block, deposit it in a way that is balanced in the box. In this way, risks of rollover to the transport partner will be avoided.
Pay attention to the presence of people in the surroundings. It must be remembered that the mining regulations prohibit the presence of people less than 5 meters away from a loaded dumper. Also, have in account that, by its structure, the machines prevent the vision of people and light vehicles near them.
If, during the loading process, you must wait for the loading of another vehicle:
- Park yours outside the work area of the loading shovel.
- Under no circumstances should you leave the vehicle cabin while waiting to load in the front.
When traveling through the tracks, access roads and the farm, remember that a series of recommendations must be followed. These must be included in the internal traffic safety regulations.
The presence of mud, potholes, poor visibility, etc., are factors against which the operator is confronted when he is driving through the farm. It is an issue that can not be avoided, but it minimize the risks, observing some security measures:
- Always respect the existing signaling and do not exceed the maximum speed limit set for each situation.
- If you have to go under conveyor belt structures, always do it for the reserved part and delimited for it.
- Do not approach the vehicle unnecessarily to the edges of the track, both inside and outside.
- Pay special attention to possible pedestrians. Remember that visibility is limited from the driving position.
- Keep a special surveillance at the crossings and check that there is no possibility of colliding with another vehicle.
- When driving behind another vehicle, always keep the safety distance.
- Take into account that the vehicle is heavier than a car and that the braking response is slower, so the braking moment must be anticipated with greater anticipation.
- If you drive a dumper or a truck, do not overload the vehicle. The brakes may not respond if necessary.
- If you are driving with a shovel, always do it with the spoon down.
- The edges of the track must be marked. If it is found that there is an area without beaconing, notify the person in charge of the exploitation of the situation.
- Do not leave loose items in the cabin. With the movement they can fall under the pedals and, in this way, blocking them.
The discharge, like other maneuvers performed with machines, must be regulated by an internal security arrangement. The internal security provision will be mandatory and must indicate the way to access the pouring point, place and way to do it.
During the pouring process there is a risk of tipping the dumper or shovel. Thus, you should always work with a safety stop that prevents an excessive approach of the rear train of the vehicle to the edge of the hopper or of the dump.
The maneuver must be notified with light and acoustic signals. Then, approach the unloading area slowly. If there is a traffic light type signaling, it must be respected at all times. This is because its indication will let you know that the unloading area is free to perform the maneuver.
Do not start tilting until you have removed the reverse gear and braked the machine in the area designated for this purpose. Once the load is discharged, release the brakes and do not move the vehicle until the swingarm has been lowered completely.