How can the procedures be enforced? “Through PRIDE,” Lambert says. “Top management must be visibly committed to safety, and middle management must be actively involved. They need to be out in the field and not just assuming the procedures are followed. Additionally, supervisors must be performance focused, and frontline, hourly employees must be actively participating in these safety efforts.”
For example, backup alarms, horns, wipers, brakes, and seatbelts must be operable on mobile equipment. A fire extinguisher should be on each piece of equipment and be checked to ensure it is operational.
Lambert also cautions equipment maintenance inspectors against the dangers of momentum when working on equipment. Nearly three years ago in a crushing operation, a cone crusher became plugged up. When an employee attempted to rod out the jam and couldn’t break it loose, the employee laid down on the belt underneath the crusher, Lambert remembers. “[The employee] took about a 2-foot-long piece of rod and attempted to break the material loose from inside,” Lambert recalls. The employee hit it once and the material broke loose, burying him. His personal protective equipment, or PPE, which should always be worn during equipment maintenance, may have saved his life, Lambert says.
“When the material came down, over his hard hat, he put his head down so there was enough room to breathe,” Lambert remembers. The point is, he says, “is to be aware of this momentum when performing maintenance. He could have easily been killed — suffocated. Never put yourself at risk.”
The Small Mine Office developed a series of weekly ToolBox talks that can be used by small mine operators and others to hold safety and health discussions for employees at their mining operations. These ToolBox talks were developed in consultation with members of the mining community. To get the free app, enter http://www.gettag.mobi into your browser.
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