Edge Protection at Quarry Faces

A Quarry face where drilling and loading operations are being carried out is recognised within the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Quarries) Regulations, 2008 as a danger area being a place from which a person can fall a significant height. It is therefore the responsibility of the Quarry Operator to put in place a system of work with adequate control measures to ensure the safety of persons working at the top of the quarry face. This should include the safety of the Driller and any persons carrying out preparatory work necessary before loading and shotfiring operations commence and for all persons involved in loading operations. Although the Operator can design and install their own systems the tensioned strap is by far the most common and cost effective system in use and this is the one described below.

Aluminium poles are inserted into pre-drilled holes which are approximately 1 metre in front of the first row of drillholes to be drilled and 1 metre deep. It is good practice to drill these holes when drilling for the previous blast so that they are immediately available for use after the blast.

If the holes are not pre-drilled then the driller should use suitably anchored fall arrest equipment when drilling these holes so that he/she is protected against falling from height.

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Two tensionable fibre straps are connected between the poles up to 20 metres apart. Netting or intermediate bands can be used to maintain a constant distance between the straps.Quarry face02
Straps are then tensioned to provide a strong fence at the working area up to any length. This temporary fencing can remain in place until the area is ready for blasting when it is removed to a place of safety until it is required to be re-erected. Removal should be carried out by persons using suitably anchored fall arrest equipment.Quarry face03