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CoalPro is committed to promoting the best working practices to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees and contractors throughout the coal industry in the UK.

Every year, a significant number of people are killed by accidents involving vehicles in the general workplace, and many more people are injured. Workplace incidents also result in consequential damage and costs to the business. Guidance is available from the HSE and other industry bodies covering general workplaces but Surface Mining is a specialist activity involving some of the largest items of plant in the UK.

This Traffic Management Guidance has been produced by CoalPro to help those involved in surface mining operations to control the risk of accidents involving plant and ancillary vehicles. It is designed to identify some of the safety problems for common vehicle operations on site. Better planning, training and awareness, and the appropriate use of vehicles, can avoid most of these incidents.

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It is not envisaged that this guidance will cover all traffic management issues on a site and companies should complete their own risk assessment and take competent advice when implementing traffic management systems.

CoalPro RIDDOR reportable injuries were reviewed over the period April 2004 to the end of March 2011. Of the 306 reportable injuries some 25% (75) related to transport and mobile plant incidents.

Legal Duties

Health and Safety law requires that risks at work are controlled as far as is ‘reasonably practicable’. For a control to be reasonably practicable, the cost must be sensible in proportion to the safety gain (reasonable) and it must be physically possible (practicable). Ultimately, only a court can decide whether what you did was reasonably practicable. It should also be recognised that some legislation is absolute and is not qualified by ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.

The main pieces of legislation that have been referred to for this CoalPro Guidance are: -

  • The Quarry Regulations 1999
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 the Quarries Regulations Introduction 1999 place various duties on employers and those in control of workplaces, including the organisation of traffic routes. The first step in preventing transport accidents is to carry a comprehensive risk assessment of all activities involving vehicles. Site vehicles and traffic account for many significant hazards in a surface mine. These hazards must be assessed to ascertain who is exposed to these hazards, whether existing controls are adequate or can be improved. There are 5 simple steps to follow when carrying out risk assessment of transport hazards at work:

  • Identify the risks posed by transport activities
  • Identify who might be harmed
  • Evaluate the risks
  • Record the assessment
  • Review and update the assessment regularly or when a change or incident takes place.

Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Quarry Operator to ensure that procedures are in place which cover all aspects of the management and control of traffic within the quarry and that all persons are given relevant information and instruction on the hazards and control measures associated with traffic management, and thereby eliminate the risk of fatalities, injuries and incidents arising from the operation of mobile plant, ancillary vehicles and other general transport.

The Quarry Operator should ensure that all mobile plant and ancillary vehicles used on quarries are safe and suitable for use under the working conditions in which they are employed.

All mobile plant and ancillary vehicles should comply with any relevant statutory requirements and should be properly operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating recommendations and all relevant Quarry Operator’s requirements.

The Quarry Operator should undertake a risk assessment identifying the hazards associated with traffic within that workplace. From that risk assessment traffic management rules, including the vehicle rules as required by the Quarries Regulations 1999 should be developed. Management, employees and safety representatives should be involved in undertaking this risk assessment. The risk assessment and Traffic Management Rules should be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.