Mobile Plant Stability — What, How and Resolving Issues

By on April 12, 2008

Mobile plant rollover is a major cause of workplace accidents and fatalities in the extractive industry. It is with this in mind that the CMPA held its first Mobile Plant Stability Workshop in Bendigo last month to increase industry awareness on the topic.

A second Mobile Plant Stability Workshop will be held in Laverton in the afternoon of Thursday 22 May. There are many issues relating to the stability of mobile plant that should be considered in your day to day operations.

General Site Management Issues

There are a number of general site management issues which whilst they may not directly relate to mobile plant equipment, do have an impact on the stability and safety of the equipment and operators, these include:

  • Resolving Issues, such as extreme weather conditions
  • Competency of Operators, including familiarity with the site/material and fitness for work
  • Operator Participation, in the upgrade of capital and the site
  • Machinery Compliance, including FOPS/ROPS, seat belts, appropriate for site/material, loading/unloading of material

Common Issues and Areas of Concern

The following issues and areas of concern are those that relate specifically to the operation of mobile plant on a site:

  • Material including considering deleterious material, face height, ensuring the machine is fit for purpose, muddy conditions, strike and dip, and type of material
  • Loading material including considering balance, driving into face or toe, front on if non-articulated, high sided trucks, level ground, smooth loading and predictable, wind and sun position
  • Work Platform including considering compaction, durability, level overhead/underground facilities, planning, stability
  • Access and Egress including considering emergency situations and for vehicles entering/exiting the site
  • Traffic Management Plan including signage
  • Parking including providing appropriate areas and facing the bank if it fails
  • Haulage Routes including considering the capital that uses them, housekeeping, incline, loading platforms don’t impede, material to ensure traction, ramp identification, stable and event, width
  • Bunding including considering the appropriate height, faces, haul roads and water sumps.
  • Traveling including attachment position, breaking under load, and speed
  • Ground Engagement (tyres and tracks) including considering maintenance, pressure, traction, uniform size and even, wear
  • Water Management including considering erosion of haul roads, loading under water and water logging
  • Housekeeping including considering back filled areas, concentration, daily checks, spillage

Primary Areas of Work and Machinery Types

These areas for consideration relate to common activities and tasks relating to mobile plant which may be affected by equipment stability:

  • Stripping overburden including consideration of inclines, immovable objects, work platform development, placement of material, tipping – over face, at angle, on sticky/uneven ground
  • Drilling including considering drill rigs, shot firers/explosives delivery/fuel delivery vehicles, loader
  • Winning at quarry face including considering presence of un-fired explosives, positioning onto raised work platforms, overreaching, projectiles, impact on haulage routes, room to move, incline, vision
  • Hauling including tipping over edges, over face, at angle, on sticky/uneven ground
  • Dispatch including consideration removing overhang and undercut materials from stockpile, loading high sided vehicles

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