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19 August 2019

Aspasa: Focus on avoiding injuries caused by mobile machines

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
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Aspasa Nico Pienaar 2.JPG
Aspasa director Nico Pienaar

While some uncertainty still exists about the issue of the management of trackless mobile machines (TMM) on surface mines, South African surface mining association Aspasa is taking no chances and is walking some of its members through the process to test and ensure compliance with legislation.

Recently, Aspasa took a fact-finding tour of PPC’s large Dwaalboom quarry site where some of the measures in place where tested and checked to ensure the highest levels of compliance with current and future legislation. The proactive evaluation not only allowed quarry management the opportunity to measure compliance with the new legislation, but also gave Aspasa’s technical experts the chance to share insights and put measures to the test.

According to Aspasa director Nico Pienaar, the high-level overview revealed some eye-opening results for both parties and highlights the importance of thorough TMM Risk Assessment on every mining site. While the new legislation requires physical and technological measures to be put in place to prevent machine-on-machine and machine-on-man type accidents from occurring, these measures can only be identified through the compilation of a true and extensive risk assessment to determine the appropriate preventative measures.

“A lot has been said about the compilation of a TMM Risk Assessment to determine each and every possible risk that exists wherever TMMs are used in an operation. The PPC Dwaalboom visit actually gave us the opportunity to evaluate its accuracy, as well as experience some of the difficulties of implementation of 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,” says Pienaar.

The results were encouraging and points of interest were identified for further analysis and further tips presented on how to further decrease vehicle interactions with vehicles and people. The Aspasa experts also noted that PPC Dwaalboom’s application of one-way traffic was particularly effective and can serve as a basis for other mines to follow in future. Also, the mine’s rehabilitation of older working areas was also noteworthy.

“We gave our own input on Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) leading practices to further improve the safe movement of people and machines and this will be incorporated into the overall plan. The idea is that we keep improving health and safety measures and share it with the industry, as these are not competitive advantages. Health and safety lessons we learn from each other should be pooled and shared to everyone’s advantage,” concludes Pienaar.

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