Visibility and Reversing Aids
The size, weight and power of mobile machinery used in quarrying presents significant hazards to people and equipment in its area of operation. A major reason for these hazards is the operator’s restricted view of the surroundings and consequent range of blind spots in which people and objects can be hidden from sight. Many vehicles have substantial blind spots, not only immediately behind the vehicle, but also alongside and immediately in front of it, without suitable visibility aids fitted.
There are also substantial blind spots on dozers, wheeled loading shovels and excavators. Light vehicles and / or pedestrians are at risk of being run over if they are in the operator’s blind spot.
To manoeuvre safely the driver needs to be able to see all around the vehicle whether it be large or small. The visibility must be such that the vehicle can be used in complete safety for both the driver and any exposed person. Improvement in visibility is achieved by fitting appropriate aids such as extra (convex) mirrors and CCTV to give adequate visibility to the front, sides and rear and work place layout. As a guide the operator should be able to see a 1 metre high object 1 metre away from any danger point of a vehicle and be able to detect the presence of other vehicles and pedestrians in their intended line of travel when moving off or when reversing.
Even when the driver’s visibility is considered adequate, pedestrians should, so far as is reasonably practicable, be kept out of the area where vehicles operate. Significantly smaller vehicles may be at risk of being crushed. Like pedestrians, they should ideally be kept away from areas where large vehicles operate. If this cannot be achieved small quarry vehicles should be painted with distinctive colours, fitted with flashing lights or otherwise made readily visible to drivers of other vehicles.
Quarry Plant should be provided with an audible reversing alarm and where necessary the use of a radar system should be considered. These systems can be configured either to provide the driver with an object warning or to automatically apply the brakes when an object is detected within the danger zone.
More detailed information on the visibility around vehicles can be found in the
Safe Quarry Guidance document Mobile Plant and Pedestrian Safety Videos
This video offers advice to those watching on how they can put control measures in place and minimise risks.
Mobile Plant and Pedestrian Safety- Doing it the right Way
The Health and Safety Authority
This video can show the consequences of not doing it right and how shortcuts or inappropriate acts can result in serious and fatal results
Mobile Plant and Pedestrians -Doing it the Wrong Way from The Health and Safety Authority
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