SafeWork SA calls for caution when using crushing plant

Friday, 08 May, 2020

SafeWork SA calls for caution when using crushing plant

After a worker sustained fatal injuries while attempting to clear a metal tramp blockage in a cone crusher in a quarry, SafeWork SA is urging businesses to ensure safe systems of work are in place when using and maintaining crushing plant. The incident occurred in April 2020; the crusher was not in operation at the time of the incident.

SafeWork SA has identified many safety issues related to the use and maintenance of crushing plant. Namely, that persons entering into a cone crusher, below the mantle, to undertake any work should be prohibited. Workers should also take extreme caution when metal tramp blockages occur in cone crushers, creating large amounts of stored energy. Oxy cutting, thermic lance or other hot work methods should not be used to clear metal tramp blockages in cone crushers. Safety issues can also arise when metal tramp blockages in cone crushes cause internal damage to the crusher.

To avoid potential risk to workers’ health and safety, SafeWork SA advises that businesses should consider and utilise engineering controls to minimise the risk of metal tramp blockages occurring. Businesses should also develop and implement a safe system of work for the use and maintenance of cone crushers, and for the clearing of metal tramp blockages in cone crushers. Businesses are also advised to develop and implement isolation and lock-out procedures for when maintenance, repairs and fault finding are being carried out on plant.

Cone crushers should also be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, with the appropriate safety devices installed, such as interlocks and emergency stops, with each tested prior to use. Businesses should also ensure all nip and trapping points are guarded, in place and secured prior to use of the plant. Pre start checks should be documented and undertaken in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All repairs and maintenance should also be undertaken by competent persons in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. SafeWork SA also advises businesses to ensure that workers are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the tasks being undertaken.

Image credit: © Zajda

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