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One thing that all mining methods and mine types have in common is moving vehicles. In unexpected circumstances on the road, drivers need to make rapid decisions to avoid accidents. The more time they’ve allowed themselves to make these decisions to avoid unexpected obstacles, the more likely they are to avoid an incident.
When driving on a mine site, whether surface or underground, compliance with traffic rules is not enough; drivers must look ahead and always consider the road and environmental conditions around them.
The inability to stop a vehicle in time is one of the major reasons that hazards become accidents. The key is to maintain a good line of sight which allows adequate time to react and to stop the vehicle if something unexpected happens.
Underground traffic is impacted by the following things that require people’s hazard awareness and driving behaviors need to go beyond the general rules of compliance:
- Varying conditions, hills, muddy or slick roadways, or obstacles in the road.
- Varying road layouts and traffic flow.
- Various jobs being performed along the roadways.
- Interaction with other vehicles and areas of low visibility.
Some key points we need to think about while operating underground equipment are:
- Reaction time when visibility or line-of-sight is reduced.
- Stopping distance after reaction time – particularly in wet or muddy conditions.
- Visibility around turns and looking further ahead to identify potential hazards early such as obstacles in our route of travel.
- Communication with other operators and workers that may be on foot in our area.
KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.