NSW regulator strives to improve vehicle safety

vehicle safety

The New South Wales resources regulator has announced a targeted intervention campaign to improve heavy vehicle safety at the state’s surface and underground mining operations.

The regulator made note of a number of incidents involving heavy vehicles and machinery in 2021, with some cases resulting in serious injuries and fatalities.

During the 2017-2021 period, two fatalities, 21 injuries and another 840 incidents were reported involving vehicle interactions across mining operations in NSW. There have been 68 reportable incidents in 2022 so far.

This year’s targeted intervention campaign, which runs from May 23 to June 3, is set to build on a previous April 2021 campaign, with the aim to foster ongoing support and engagement within the industry to effect change.

In April last year, a campaign engaging more than 13,000 mine workers saw 41 inspectors deliver presentations to more than 300 work crews at 37 mines across the state.

A key focus of the campaign is the pivotal role leadership plays in the implementation and enforcement of correct heavy vehicle safety procedures and maintenance standards.

Positive communication between leadership teams and workers remains an important factor in reducing the number of reportable incidents, with road safety rules, driving conditions and basic hazard awareness highlighted as contributing factors.

The campaign acts as a reminder to workers across the industry to uphold safe working conditions for themselves and the safety of others.

Elsewhere, a mining industry initiative is striving to improve the safety of mining equipment by ensuring original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and operators are on the same page.

The Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMESRT) works with OEMs to develop effective designs that are safe for workers and maintenance staff, closing the gap between the performance expectations of earth moving equipment users and designers.

Made up of members of the mining industry and key member organisations, Alcoa, Anglo American, BHP, Glencore, Rio Tinto and Teck, EMESRT has developed a strategic plan for reducing injuries and fatalities stemming from equipment.

This focuses on four key focus areas: vehicle interaction control improvement, tyres and rims management, mobile equipment fires management, and human factors design diversity.

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