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Please Note:  The case studies linked to this guidance are not currently available. A tool box talk will also be available in 2017. However, QNJAC felt it important to publish this document in its present form as soon as possible in view of the importance of the subject matter.

1. Guidance

1.1      Scope of this guidance

This guidance is for all those with responsibilities for the management of quarries and surface mining operations, including managers and supervisory staff. It builds upon the existing section of the Coalpro Traffic Management guidance for avoiding risks to pedestrians from vehicle movements.

Pedestrian safety will be improved if the Coalpro Traffic Management guidance is followed in respect of safe vehicles and safe operators.  A site where vehicles are well maintained, have good visibility,  trained and competent operators, well designed roadways, and minimised reversing manoeuvres will automatically put pedestrians at less risk of an accident than sites where this is not the case. The interaction between vehicles and pedestrians is potentially dangerous if not well managed.

Therefore, this guidance is intended to deal specifically with the residual risk to pedestrians, after specific safe vehicle measures have been introduced but will include consideration of other hazards on site that impact on their safety.

However, pedestrians are still being hurt and worse on our sites.

Appendix 2.1 of this document contains an account of what CAN, and in this case, DID happen when a man just went to work as normal on an ordinary day but never made it home safe.

This guidance cannot cover every risk and is not comprehensive, but will highlight those key matters of concern. The risks associated with your particular operation, and the methods of reducing those risks, should be revealed during your risk assessment.

1.2      Who is a pedestrian?

A “Pedestrian” in this context can be defined as someone who is ON SITE and ON FOOT but is not in an office, weighbridge or welfare building.

A key task in maintaining and improving pedestrian safety is to identify who the pedestrians are on your site and understanding how they interact with the environment they are in. 

Pedestrians are:

  • All employees
  • All contractors
  • All hauliers
  • All delivery drivers
  • All official visitors (including enforcement officers/regulators)
  • All members of the public:

o   Customers/visitors to site

o   Persons using public rights of way that cross through operational areas of quarries (this category might also include cyclists and horse riders)

o   Persons accidentally or deliberately trespassing

  • .... YOU! ....

 

Pedestrian safety is an aspect of quarry work which will affect everybody in the quarry at some point during any working day.

Each person will have different expectations of how they should behave in relation to vehicles and other hazards on site and the extent to which they understand or perceive the dangers from them.  

For example, do not assume that all pedestrians will understand the additional risks posed by large quarry mobile plant such as reduced visibility, variable stopping distances, overriding noise etc., as different from the interaction they may have with conventional road vehicles.

1.3      What Site Management must consider.

Inadequate separation of pedestrians and vehicles can result in accidents that could have been avoided by careful planning and proper design of the quarry or surface mine. Pedestrian safety must be paramount when developing your Manager’s, Site and Vehicle Rules

When planning and designing a work activity, one should go through the ‘risk assessment hierarchy of control’ where in this instance, the first question is “Can the need for some pedestrian activities on site be avoided?”.  Guidance on risk assessment can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/controlling-risks.htm .

This will reduce your areas of concern and enable you to focus on those areas and occasions where pedestrian activity is unavoidable, necessary or likely to occur

The next step is to identify the hazards on site such as:-

  • Vehicle movements / proximity to pedestrians
  • Underfoot conditions
  • Rock Faces
  • Rock Piles
  • Blasting practices
  • Stockpiles
  • Fixed-Plant access / proximity
  • Working machinery proximity
  • Water’s edge issues
  • Environmental factors - weather conditions, lighting
  • Geo-technical hazards and weaknesses of formation.
  • Other operational activities ( e.g. Plant & Site maintenance )
  • Blind spots, poor sight lines
  • Dynamic nature of quarry site
  • Use of public rights of way within the quarry boundary and public access to the quarry

Then assess the risks from those hazards to the various pedestrian categories on site.

Once this has been completed, you will be in a position to consider the reasonably practicable level of protection required to provide the necessary controls. These will include :-

  • Physical segregation of pedestrians and vehicles, barriers or rerouting of pedestrians to avoid hazards
  •  Mark-out and sign the vehicle, pedestrian and hazardous areas.
  • Mark-out and sign crossing points for both drivers and pedestrians
  • Instruct, inform and alert both drivers and pedestrians about routes, rules and layout. Consider site inductions, tailored brief-inductions, toolbox-talks, maps, leaflets, signage, etc.
  • Effective communications – radios, hand signals
  • Appropriate  PPE, who provides it and what standards of wear are expected on your site ( see Appendix 2.3 )

1.4      What Site Management must do.

The following list is not exhaustive, but highlights some of the key actions required.

  • Design a scheme for the safe management and movement of pedestrians on site.
  • Thoroughly review your existing arrangements and check where improvements can be made.
  • Organise the site such that vehicles and pedestrians can move around safely, effectively and are not ‘free-to-roam’.  Arrangements should be such that persons are fully aware of the environment they are in but are suitably warned and protected from the hazards in it.
  • Implement routes for persons and vehicles such that they are of suitable construction, number, size and location and incorporate the following principles :-
    • Provide separate entry & exit points for pedestrians only.
    • Provide firm, level, well-drained walkways that take the most direct available route.
    • Provide clearly signed & lit crossing points where drivers & pedestrians can see each other easily.
    • Provide clearly signed restricted walk areas where permission has to be sought to enter due to increased hazards.
    • Ensure walkways remain unobstructed and are not awkward to negotiate
    • Ensure they are sufficiently clear or protected from any risk of being struck by falling materials
    •  Ensure they are sufficiently clear of unstable or potentially unstable ground
    •  Ensure they are not susceptible to rapid deterioration under adverse weather conditions.
    • Provide a physical barrier between walkways & roadways wherever practicable.
    • Tackle unsafe and distracting behaviours such as uncontrolled use of mobile phones or stopping for a chat at whatever point persons happen to meet.
    • Ensure public rights of way are managed
  • Provide simple & clear rules that both pedestrians and drivers can follow that are relevant to their tasks on site and support the existing Site Managers Rules.
  • Provide suitable information, instruction and direction that is easily understood and recognised by your target audience.
  • Consider working with local authorities to re-route public rights of way outside quarry boundary
  • Ensure awareness is maintained via any suitable and available means ( e.g. Toolbox Talks, Safety Bulletins, Safety Stand-downs, poster campaigns, ongoing training courses / presentations etc. ).
  • Inspect and maintain the arrangements you have made
  • Review your arrangements at regular and suitable intervals.
  • Be able to demonstrate you have gone through this assessment process and it properly reviewed.

1.5      Who do you involve?

Depending on the person’s role, task, experience and reason for being on site, their view of what is ‘safe’ will vary considerably. This makes it vitally important that the workforce, which includes everybody who works at the quarry, plus representatives from the other pedestrian groups mentioned above, are involved and engaged in the planning, design and implementation of measures to improve pedestrian safety. This gathering of views and differing perspectives may take a little time but will ensure the development of a more robust plan that works for everyone. 

1.6      When to review.

 Quarries and surface mining operations are dynamic environments. Regular reviews by site management in line with current regulations and Company Policy is required. Other triggers for a review include:

  • Alterations to stocking, excavation and tip arrangements
  • Temporary works
  • Changes in activity levels
  • Construction activities
  • Changes in mobile plant
  • Incidents and near misses
  • Seasonal conditions
  • Unusual weather conditions
  • Workforce feedback