The Quarries Regulations 1999 provide the legal framework for the safe operation of ADTs in UK quarries and opencast mining operations.
There is a general requirement under Regulation 6 “General Duties of the operator” for the quarry operator to take the necessary measures to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the quarry and its plant are designed, constructed, equipped, commissioned, operated and maintained in such a way that persons at work can perform the work assigned to them without endangering their own health and safety or the health and safety of others.
This is supported by specific requirements under Regulation 14 “Rules controlling risk from vehicles”. The Approved Code of Practice for this regulation sets out what the rules should include. All of them are relevant to the safe use of ADTs - safe driver, safe machine and safe environment.
These two regulations underpin the approach taken in this guidance of safe driver, safe machine, safe environment, irrespective of whether or not you are a quarry operator, employee or a contractor.
There are then specific regulations relevant to each of the three elements of the guidance
Regulation 9 sets out the requirement for all those working in a quarry to be competent to perform the tasks assigned to them and this includes the drivers of ADT’s. It is the duty of the operator to ensure that this is the case rather than the duty of the driver.
Regulation 10 sets out the requirement for operators to have in place instructions, rules and schemes and this includes ensuring that these are followed (i.e. by way of adequate supervision).
Regulation 42 sets out the duty of persons at work at a quarry to carry out their duties with reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others.
In addition to Regulation 12 and Regulation 14 of the Quarries Regulations 1999, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 are relevant to the safe provision and use of vehicles on site including, suitability, inspection, maintenance, controls, roll over protection and restraining systems.
Regulation 12 sets out the requirement for the haul roads and working areas to be inspected and maintained for safe operation.
Regulation 13 sets out the requirement for benches and haul roads to be designed, constructed and maintained to allow vehicles to be used and moved upon them.
Regulation 31 sets out the requirement for specific rules to define how tips are to be constructed and operated – in relation to ADT use these would particularly be relevant to control of tipping points.
Application to civil engineering and construction projects
For civil engineering and construction projects the legal framework is set out in The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. In relation to the use of ADTs, these regulations focus particularly on the ‘safe environment’ element.
Regulation 13, places a duty on the Principal Contractor to plan, manage and monitor, health and safety matters during the construction phase, taking account of the general principles of prevention. Additionally, under Regulation 12, a construction phase health and safety plan must be drawn up setting out the arrangements for health and safety.
Regulation 16, by virtue of Regulation 27, requires traffic routes (haul roads, ramps etc.) to be suitable, so far as reasonably practicable, for the vehicles using them, arranged to ensure safe separation of pedestrians and vehicles and be maintained to ensure safety.
Regulation 16, by virtue of Regulation 28, requires vehicles to be operated, loaded or towed in a manner ensuring safety. This includes a requirement to take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent vehicles falling in to excavations or overrunning the edge of any embankment or earthworks.”