Rising truck rollovers pose safety threat

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

Rising truck rollovers pose safety threat

Over the past three years, industry has reported an increase in the number of truck rollover incidents.

During the period July 2013 to June 2016, approximately 91 incidents were reported, with an average of one truck rollover occurring in NSW every 12 days.

As a consequence, Mine Safety has asked industry to better manage the risks associated with these types of accidents.

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 sets out mandatory requirements for a person with management or control of powered mobile plant (including trucks). This includes managing risks associated with trucks overturning in accordance with part 3.1 ‘Managing risks to health and safety’, and ensuring, as far as is reasonably practicable, that a suitable combination of operator protective devices for the vehicle is provided, maintained and used.

The majority of rollover incidents occurred at a quarry, while almost 30% took place at an open-cut mine. Factors in the accidents included excessive speed, uneven ground, loss of ground stability beneath the truck, the use of vehicles outside of their design capabilities, material holding up on the tray when tipping, under-inflation or rapid deflation of tyres, and roads being too wet.

It has been recommended that mine operators should identify all work activities on the mine site where trucks are used and review control measures for truck rollovers. This review must be consistent with clauses 9 and 10 of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulations 2014 and should consider monitoring of:

Risk controls to prevent a truck roll, including:

  • fitting speed-limiting controls;
  • correct tyre condition, type and pressures;
  • truck suspension systems in good order and appropriate for the environment;
  • tipping areas are level without cross grade;
  • tipping areas are stable, are capable of withstanding the truck wheel pressures and are not prone to subside;
  • safety functions that alert the operator of a pending overturning of the dump body or out-of-balance situation;
  • checking for material hang-up while tipping and knowing material density and flowability;
  • operating trucks within their design (OEM) limits;
  • brakes and retard systems being functional to OEM specifications;
  • haul roads maintained to design standards, without pot holes and inconsistent variants such as rocks;
  • operator training and observations;
  • road watering procedures do not make roads slippery;
  • ensuring ‘out-of-control vehicle emergency recovery’ procedures are adequate.

Risk controls to mitigate the risk of injury following a truck rollover, including:

  • fit-out and use of operator seat restraints;
  • use of operator proactive structures;
  • appropriately designed and maintained windrows, berms and bunding.

Further information is available in the Mine Safety Bulletin.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Hsvrs

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