AMIT 129: Lesson 5 Hazard Recognition

Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson students will be able to:

  • Analyze accidents and contributing factors.
  • Identify causes of accidents.
  • Explain Miner’s responsibility.
  • Demonstrate proper handling of accidents.

Reading & Lecture

Analysis of Accidents and Contributing Factors

Definition of an Accident:

  1. Any unplanned and unanticipated event that results in personal injury and/or in property damage.
  2. An analysis of accidents must consider a number of contributing factors, which must at least include the accident type (falls, being struck by object), energy source (electricity, machinery), unsafe acts or conditions, nature of the injury, and the affected part or parts of the body.

Causes of Accidents

Basic causes of accidents may be one or more elements in the following lists.

  1. Management safety policy and decisions
    • Production and safety goals
    • Communications
    • Inspection procedures
    • Maintenance
    • Housekeeping
  2. Environmental factors
    • Weather
    • Dusts, gases and vapors
    • Noise
    • Illumination
  3. Personal factors
    • Safety motivation and awareness
    • Knowledge and training
    • Physical and mental state
    • Reaction time

 

Indirect Causes

Review this video introduction to unsafe acts and preventative safety methods.

Unsafe acts

  1. Operating equipment at excessive speeds
  2. Operating equipment without authorization or training
  3. Using equipment or tools improperly
  4. Using defective equipment
  5. Removing or damaging safety devices on equipment
  6. Not using personal protective equipment when appropriate
  7. Not warning others of hazardous conditions
  8. Failure to secure equipment and block tires
  9. Improper lifting, loading, or placement of equipment, tools, or supplies
  10. Servicing equipment in motion
  11. Horseplay
  12. Use of alcohol or drugs

Unsafe Conditions

  1. Sliding or falling material at bins, hoppers, and dump points
  2. Pressure lines and vessels
  3. Inadequate supports or guards
  4. Poor housekeeping
  5. Poor illumination
  6. Hazardous highwalls, spoil banks, and water pools
  7. Fire and explosion hazards
  8. Defective tools, equipment, or supplies
  9. Congestion of work place
  10. Inadequate warning systems
  11. Excessive noise
  12. Slippery or rough haulage and walkways
Highwall collapse on heavy equipment.
From the Department of Labor website, “On Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at approximately 7:30 a.m., a 49-year-old excavator operator, with 20 years of mining experience, was fatally injured when a highwall he was working near collapsed. The excavator was being used to load rock trucks. The operator’s cab was positioned on the highwall side when the accident occurred.”
An accident involving blind spots and heavy equipment
An accident at the Anglo Coal Mine, caused by a blind spot while operating heavy equipment.
The results of a falling material accident
From the Department of Labor website, “On August 3, 2015, a 64-year old miner with 44 weeks experience was killed at a sand and gravel mine. The victim was operating a front-end loader, loading trucks from a stockpile, when he exited the loader. While outside the loader, the approximate 35-foot high stockpile slope failed and engulfed the victim between the stockpile and the loader.”

Direct Causes

  1. Unplanned release of energy and/or hazardous material such as falls of rock or materials, failing brakes, or removal of air hose without bleeding the line

Distinction between health and safety concerns in the mine

  1. Health refers to proper functioning of the body
    • Health is affected by substance which interfere with normal functioning.
    • Health problems, while slow in occurring, may be permanently disabling
  2. Safety refers to avoiding accidents by following safe work procedures and recognizing and correcting unsafe conditions.

Miner’s responsibility

  1. Reporting hazards
  2. Tagging unsafe equipment
  3. Eliminating known hazards
  4. Warning others
  5. Avoiding areas of hazards

Common Types of Accidents

Most Common Types of Accidents in Metal/Nonmetal Underground Mines

Handling materials is a common activity related to accidents (lifting, puffing, pushing or shoveling packaged or loose material).

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Frequency of Occurrence

Of all accidents reported in 1979 for underground mines, 31% occurred during handling of materials.

Accident Characteristics

Of all accidents in underground mines involving materials handling, 62% resulted in lost work days for non-fatally injured miners. The average severity of these accidents was lost time ranging from 12 to 164 days.

Most frequent parts of body injured in accidents

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Most frequent nature of injury

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These accidents may often be avoided by using correct procedures for handing materials.

  • Use proper lifting, lifting with the legs rather than the back.
  • Wear gloves.
  • Do not allow your vision to be obscured by the load and be careful when passing through entrances.
  • Do not attempt to carry a load which is too heavy, and coordinate your moves with those assisting you.
  • Be careful of sharp edges or protruding sides of the materials you are carrying.
  • When setting materials down, make sure you have sufficient clearance from your toes.

Accidents Caused By Powered Haulage Activities

Powered haulage activities are another source of accidents (conveyors, front-end loaders, haulage trucks, locomotives and railroad cars, and personnel conveyances).

Frequency of occurrence

Of all accidents reported in 1979 for underground mines, 8% occurred around powered haulage.

Accident characteristics

Of all accidents in underground mines involving powered haulage, 74% resulted in lost work days for non-fatally injured miners. The average severity of these accidents was lost time ranging from 30-210 days.

Most frequent parts of body injured in accidents

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Most frequent nature of injury

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Some of the sorts of haulage accidents which occur are as follows:

  • Collisions with other vehicles or stationary objects
  • Being struck, run over by or squeezed between vehicles
  • Striking arms, legs, or other body parts against protruding objects while     riding in mine transportation
  • Slipping or falling while mounting vehicle

Haulage accidents may be reduced by using the rules as follows:

  1. Never exceed the vehicle’s capabilities for speed, stop-ping, and turning.
  2. When on foot watch out for all vehicles and let operators know you are near.
  3. Never get on or off of moving vehicles of any kind.
  4. Keep limbs and head within the riding area.
  5. Make frequent inspections of vehicle’s brakes, lights, steering, and other devices related to safety.
  6. Don’t work on moving conveyor belts or attempt to cross or mount them.
  7. Don’t wear loose clothing or long hair around moving conveyor belts or machinery which has exposed moving parts.
  8. When shoveling onto a moving belt, always shovel in the direct the belt is moving.

Accidents Caused By Use of Machinery

Another major source of accidents is the use of machinery (drills, slushers, power shovels, and compressors).

Frequency of occurrence

Of all accidents reported in 1979 for underground mines, 17% occurred around machinery.

Accident characteristics

Of all accidents in underground mines involving machinery, 64% resulted in lost work days for non-fatally injured miners. The average severity of these accidents was lost time ranging from 18 to 194 days.

Most frequent parts of body injured in accidents

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Most frequent nature of injury

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The sorts of accidents which occur are as follows:

  • Being caught between a machine and the highwall during a slide.
  • Being struck by a moving boom or bucket or blade
  • Being struck or crushed by falling or overturning equipment.
  • Being struck by flying objects.

Many accidents of this nature can be avoided by following safe work procedures.

  • When working near equipment in operation, be sure the operator knows you are there.
  • Avoid the area included in the circle of movement of booms and loaders. Never walk under raised equipment.
  • Never leave equipment unattended in raised position.
  • Be sure equipment is securely blocked before attempting any repair or maintenance with it in raised position.
  • Never attempt to defeat or override the safety devices built into equipment.

Injuries form Slips and Falls

Another source of accidents is slips and falls (while getting on or off machinery and haulage equipment which is not moving, and while servicing or repairing equipment or machinery).

Frequency of occurrence

Of all accidents in 1979 for underground mines, 13% resulted from slips and falls.

Accident characteristics

Of all accidents in underground mines resulting from slips and falls, 73% resulted in lost work days for non-fatally injured miners. The average severity of these accidents was lost time ranging from 21 to 210 days.

Most frequent parts of body injured in accidents

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Most frequent nature of injury

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Some rules which will prevent slips and falls are as follows:

  1. Wear proper footwear.
  2. Always watch where you are going. Don’t allow material being carried to block your visibility.
  3. Use both hands when climbing up or down a ladder. Never jump from rung to rung or try to slide down the ladder.
  4. Clean up any spills that might cause someone to slip.
  5. Never lean over equipment without stable footing.
  6. Use a safety belt to catch any fall from a high place, or when working in a hole or trench.

Injuries From Use of Hand Tools

An additional major source of accidents is the use of hand tools (non-power assisted tools)

Frequency of occurrence

Of all accidents in 1979 for underground mines, 11% resulted from use of hand tools.

Accident characteristics

Of all accidents in underground mines resulting from use of hand tools, 45% resulted in lost work days for non-fatally injured miners. The average severity of these accidents was lost time ranging from 11 to 125 days.

Most frequent parts of body injured in accidents

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Most frequent nature of injury

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The following are procedures which will help in avoiding these accidents.

  • Use the right tool for the job.
  • Keep tools in their place when they are not being used. Don’t leave them around as hazards to safety.
  • Be sure you have clearance from other workers and machinery when using hammers and sledges.
  • Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying material.
  • Follow recommended safety procedures in the use of special tools and equipment.

Injuries From Falls to Back or Sides

The final major source of accidents is falls of the back or sides. This includes falls while barring down or placing props, as well as pressure bumps and bursts. This does not include accidents due to equipment gouging the rock.

Frequency of occurrence

Of all accidents in 1979 for underground mines, 10% resulted from falls of the back or sides.

Accident characteristics

Of all accidents in underground mines resulting from falls of the back or sides, 65% resulted in lost work days for non-fatally injured miners. The average severity of these accidents was lost time ranging from 12 to 600 days.

Most frequent parts of body injured in accidents

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Most frequent nature of injury

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These accidents may often be avoided by observing some of the following safety rules.

  • While barring down always follow safe procedures and keep a path for escape open. When scaling, always wear safety glasses and work under supported roof.
  • If you suspect weak rock, report it to supervision.
  • Test the rock periodically with a hammer to assess its soundness.
  • Never violate the mine’s roof control plan.
  • Look for stress cracks or rocks protruding from the back or sides.
  • Look for formerly dry areas that suddenly become wet.
  • Look for the falling of small chips that might signal larger falls.
  • Look for rock bolts showing signs of stress.
  • Never assume someone else has made tests in the area.

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AMIT 129: Lesson 3 Mine Entering

Objectives

Upon completing this lesson students will be able to:

  • Explain the Check-in and Check–out system
  • Explain the basic concepts of mine transportation
  • Explain the basic concepts of mine communication

Reading

Check-in and Check-out Procedures

The check-in and check-out system is used to keep a current record of all mine personnel and visitors present in the mine. This information is essential during a mine emergency. By law, this record is kept on the surface in a place safe from fire or other hazard.

  1. In the event of an emergency, this system aids mine rescue in identifying and locating any miner who fails to return and check-out. Management can determine where the miner was working and thereby focus mine rescue efforts.
  2. By checking-out of the mine when leaving, mine rescue teams will not waste time and risk their lives looking for someone who is not in the mine at all.
  3. The system is also used to locate a miner in case of a personal emergency i.e. a sick or injured family member etc.

The check-in and check-out procedure uses an identification tag called brass. Brass has your name or some other identification number stamped on it. A second brass may also be permanently attached to your lamp belt.

The company policy is that all miners follow check-in procedures when entering the mine. Place your brass on a hook at the station. When leaving the mine check-out by removing your brass from the hook. Keep brass for the next work day.

Mine Transportation Systems

Man trips are rubber-tired or track vehicles or shaft cages designed to transport miners between the working areas of a mine and the dry room or bath house used to change clothes and clean-up.
  1. Man trips are designed to carry a certain number of miners. Attempting to crowd more miners on a man trip than it is designed for is a safety hazard and should be avoided.
  2. When boarding the man trips other than cages, both hands should be emptied of tools and lunch pail. You need your hands to assist getting into the man trip. Place your tools and lunch pail in the man trip before boarding.
  3. Once in the man trip and underway, keep your head, arms and legs inside. You could accidentally hit the side or piece of equipment when leaning out. Also make sure that any equipment or tools such as picks, shovels or slate bars do not stick out of the car or cage.
Material trips are used for both ore and mining equipment.
  1. Haulage of ore is done by rubber tired or track vehicles. Young buggies, ore cars, or muck cars are used to transport the ore from the drifts and stapes to belt lines and/or to the ore skip which hauls ore up the shaft to the mill.
  2. Equipment trips are used to bring various supplies into the mine. These supplies include mining machinery, fuel and explosives.
  3. Hazards involved in transportation system.
    1. Objects protruding from the sides or the back, such as rock, timber, or pipes.
    2. Falling out of or off moving equipment due to recklessness, bumps, quick stops or horseplay.
    3. Injury to head, arms, hand or legs, that are hanging out of the trip and hit a rib or other object.
    4. Flying objects, such as lunch pails, tools, or rock, when the trip stops suddenly, derails, or is involved in a collision.
    5. Body parts hanging out of trip and making contact with an electrical power source.
    6. Collision of trip due to excessive speed and subsequent loss of control or brake failure.
    7. Collision of trip with other vehicle or striking person due to poor visibility or inattention.
    8. Injury to eyes or lungs from dust or small particles.
    9. Materials on the cage not being secured correctly.
Heavy Equipment Accidents

Signs

  • Signs need to be posted wherever it’s necessary to regulate, warn, direct, or inform traffic on haul roads or around surface installations. Signs can be permanent or portable to meet the changing conditions at the mine. Remember, overcrowding of signs at one location may cause confusion and lead to accidents.
  • Signs need to be positioned with respect to each situation. Management must take into account, the time it takes for a driver to see and read a sign and the mechanical braking and stopping distances of vehicles in operation at each site.
  • Signs must be visible at all times. Size, height and lateral placement are important factors in determining whether signs will be illuminated by headlights.

Stop Signs

Stop signs should be located as close to the point at which the vehicle must stop.

Use “stop ahead’ signs to warn drivers where there is limited sight distances. All way stop or 4-Way stop signs should be placed at intersections that require all vehicles to stop.

A stop sign
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Yield Sign

Yield signs need to located as close as possible to the point where vehicles are supposed to yield. Yield signs assign right-of-way where secondary roads intersect main roads or where two roads intersect and stopping is not required.

Yield Sign
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Speed Limit Signs

Speed signs are based upon factors such as road conditions, grades, visibility, curves, and mechanical capability of the equipment in use at each mine operation. Drivers should always obey posted speed signs.

A speed limit sign
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Do Not Pass Signs

No passing signs are usually placed at the beginning and end of a restricted area where passing other vehicles are not allowed. A “pass with care” sign indicates the end of a no passing zone.

Do Not Pass
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Do Not Enter Signs

A Do Not Enter sign is placed at the end of a one way road to keep traffic from entering the roadway while traveling in the wrong direction. “WRONG WAY” signs supplement Do Not Enter signs

Do Not Enter sign
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Important Sign

Mine management should limit customer and over-the-road drivers’ access to hazards while heavy equipment is being used to load trucks.

An Important [message] Sign
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Steep Grade Sign

These signs provide drivers with advanced warning of steep downgrades where special caution is needed to be exercised. Post the grade and length of grade and any special precautions.

A Steep Grade Sign
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People Working Signs

These signs are usually posted on roadways where work is being done. Mine operators should posted these signs in all areas where trucks  may come in contact with workers.

People Working sign
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Falling Rock Zone Signs

These signs warn drivers to watch out for falling rocks and other materials while they are driving through an area. Restricted access may be required based upon the hazard

Falling Rock Sign
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Danger: Explosives Signs

These signs should be used in areas where explosives are in use. They can be used to deny access to a blast are or used as a placard on vehicles carrying explosives.

Danger Explosives
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Authorized Personnel Only Signs

These signs are posted to limit personnel from entering hazardous or restricted areas. Drivers should not enter these areas either while driving or when they leave the vehicle.

An authorized-personnel sign
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Danger: Open Flame Signs

These signs warn all personnel to the hazardous conditions that may exist in an area or where flammable and combustible materials are in use or stored

Danger: Open Flame Sign
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Danger: High Voltage Sign

A high voltage sign warns all personnel of electrical hazards. Drivers should look for signs that warn about “overhead lines” so they may avoid a common hazard in mining.

A Danger: High Voltage Sign
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Warning Signs

  • Help to control traffic flow
  • Warn personnel on-foot of truck traffic
  • Establish safety zones where hazards exist
  • Remind all employees to be safe
  • Limit visitors from entering the unfamiliar
  • Prevent accidents and injuries

Mine Communication System

Mine communications are important for routine messages. Requests for supplies or assistance with operational problems save time when done over an efficient communications system. In the case of accident or other emergency, people in the mine must be able to tell people on the surface what happened so that proper measures can be taken quickly.

  1. The law requires that two-way communication systems be provided at several locations in the mine. These include all levels of the main shaft and slopes, and between the surface and each working section. Phone systems are commonly used to provide two-way communications.
  2. Communications with the hoistman is done by pull bottles located at each level of the shaft.

Equipment signals are signals mounted on equipment to warn the operator or others of some particular condition of the vehicle.

  1. Backing-up signals warn others that the vehicle is in reverse gear and that they should immediately move out of its way.
  2. A bell may sound when a motor starts up.
  3. Equipment status signals inform the operator of critical status levels of various components of the equipment, such as low oil or hydraulic pressure.

Mine emergency warning signals alert miners to immediately initiate mine evacuation procedures.

  1. Warning signals inform miners of the emergency, and can be of two types.
    • Stench canisters containing a smell of rotten eggs.
    • Alarms located throughout the mine.
    • Flashes
  2. Another important emergency signal is the escapeway marking signs located throughout the mine. Their directional information guides miners through the escapeways system.

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