Selection of equipment
Vehicles must be suitable for the place in which they are to be used and for the work they undertake. The selection of suitable work equipment can reduce or eliminate many risks at the quarry. It is generally much easier and cheaper to start with the right equipment than to modify it later.
The design of the Quarry or Sand Pit face will determine the type and size of equipment that will be used to excavate or load the material. As an example it is estimated that a minimum bench width of 15m would be required for a long-reach excavator to operate safely. Similarly when excavating sand and gravel the equipment selected is dependent upon the face height and width and the potential for failure. There have been numerous occasions when loading shovels have been engulfed following failure of the working face and excavators buried as a result of quarry face failures.
It is essential that the driver is protected from falling objects and this can be achieved by the provision of a falling object protective structure (FOPS) and protected from the effects of overturning by the provision of roll-over protective structures (ROPS) and restraining devices.
In addition to this the operator of the plant must be trained and hold the relevant QSCS card or under supervision with a view to obtaining the QSCS card. Excavator operators must operate from a safe position and this usually requires the creation of a trench in front of the excavator to reduce the potential of any rock falls