Access to earthmoving equipment
A highly practical safety project in the early 1990’s was the Access to Earthmoving Equipment project. Work required included:
v Carrying out a literature review;
v Thorough statistical analysis of company accident data
v Developing a check-list to assess access systems;
v Field assessment of access systems
v Discussing access requirements with maintenance and operational personnel;
v Designing and installing prototype access modifications;
v Assessing the adequacy of the prototype modifications;
v Developing access purchasing specifications and maintenance guidelines; and
v Providing written guidance on desired characteristics of access systems.
v Presenting to industry forums in Qld. W.A. & N.S.W.
Through the employer association we successfully applied for Federal Government funding to extend the original research work by further research by an ergonomist / mechanical engineer. Thorough statistical analysis of Qld mining industry accident data was the starting point. This work provided significant input into the writing of an Australian Standard for “Earthmoving Equipment Access” and subsequently much earthmoving equipment in open-cut Australian mines now have hydraulically operated access arrangements.
The focus of this work was the large earthmoving equipment used in open-cut mining but the lessons are equally applicable to smaller earthmoving equipment and the back of trucks.
This research developed an industry manufacturing and developing earthmoving equipment access systems. With the passage of time this work is not well known in the mining industry nowadays, whilst the work has significant application outside the mining industry few will be aware of it.