Home Links

Site Design/Pre Planning Design

The initial design and planning of any workplace, in consultation with all relevant bodies is vitally important to all future operations.

Discussions should involve relevant internal/external planning, technical specialists and internal operational staff. Your health and safety team should play an important part during this consultation. This consultation should take place prior to submission of planning permissions to ensure that a well thought out feasible submission is presented to the relevant local authority.

Particular attention should be paid to the following site areas:-

  • Access to the site and security controls.
  • Traffic routes, parking areas, delivery points
  • Distribution Point
    • Coal Processing areas
    • Weighbridge location
    • Sheeting and Tipping areas
  • Site offices and amenity areas
  • Workshop layouts and designs
  • Environmental control issues and requirements.
  • Operational Designs for
    • Haul Roads
    • Plant Parking areas
    • Tips and Excavations
    • Lagoon Systems
    • Coal Stocking,
    • Sheeting Areas, Tip
  • Stand –offs
    • Utilities
    • Water ways
    • Transport infrastructure
    • Public roads and footpaths

Traffic Management Plan

In the Surface Mining Industry vehicle dangers present the greatest risks to personnel and equipment. Good and effective traffic management will help to reduce the risks. A site specific traffic management plan should be produced and approved by the Site Manager. The plan should identify traffic routes and traffic flow, access points, parking areas and other traffic control areas. The plan should be communicated to all site employees, contractors and visitors as required. This plan should be available to everyone and should be updated to reflect any changes within the operation.


Site Access and Parking Areas

Access to the site must be controlled to ensure that unauthorised persons cannot progress to a location where they may be at risk from the site operations. This could be in the form of signage, automated barrier controls or personnel controlled areas – such as security or a weighbridge operator.

When designing car parks the following should be considered:

Sufficient parking spaces to allow for employees, staff, site visitors and contractors.

  • Traffic routes e.g. one way systems.
  • Reverse parking policy.
  • Suitable traffic calming measures.
  • Pedestrian routes.
  • Lighting and disabled access

Contractors and Visiting Drivers

Careful consideration must be given to Contractors and Visiting Drivers who are required to access the site. These may maintenance personnel, plant operators, delivery drivers and HGV operators. Their needs should be assessed and where applicable these persons should be inducted accordingly to ensure that they are aware of the local rules and procedures and what is expected of them. For example small vehicles, such as plant maintenance vans, that are invariably required to attend breakdowns in operational areas their access should be strictly controlled with escort vehicles and close supervision. Consideration should be given to issuing the visiting drivers with a plan so that their movements and operations are strictly controlled.

Design and Layout of Road Systems

Each site will have permanent traffic routes which will be used by staff and visitors vehicles, contractors and delivery vehicles, lorries and internal plant and ancillary vehicles. There will also be traffic routes in working and operational areas which An example of a typical Road Management Plan change as the site work progresses.

There will be pedestrian traffic, employees, contractors and visitors either on their way to or from their normal place of work at the beginning or end of the working day, or as part of their work during the day. Traffic routes should be planned to give the safest route between places where plant, vehicles and pedestrians have to call, park or operate.

Pedestrian routes should be planned to minimize exposure of the pedestrians to vehicle movements by the installation of barriers, crossing points etc.

Site Roads

Roads should be adequately constructed and be suitable for the vehicles using them. Roads should be surfaced with suitable materials i.e. rock-fill. They need to be well drained to prevent a slippery road surface and protected from falling rock with the installation of suitable rock traps where applicable.

Road widths should be sufficient to allow two of the largest vehicles using the haul road to pass safely. Each lane of travel should provide clearance, left and right of the widest vehicle in use, which is equivalent to one-half the vehicle width. Separate roads should be provided for ancillary vehicles where possible.

The design of traffic routes should take into account the type and size of plant and vehicles being operated on the site and the plant should be designated as “heavy plant” or as “light vehicles” i.e. ancillary vehicles.

Traffic route design should include the segregation of the heavy plant and the ancillary vehicles. Separate roads should be provided for ancillary vehicles around areas such as workshops and for access to the operational areas of the site so far as is reasonably practicable.

Separate traffic controls and signage should be established for the safe passage of ancillary vehicles on these routes.

Recommended minimum road width:


Benches and Haul Roads

Regulation 13 of the Quarries Regulations 1999 relates to Benches and Haul roads and states that so far as reasonably practicable the operator shall ensure that –

  1. benches and haul roads are designed, constructed and maintained so as to allow vehicles and plant to be used and moved upon them safely; and
  2. where necessary, effective precautions are taken, by the installation of barriers or otherwise, to prevent vehicles or plant accidentally leaving any bench or haul road.

Gradient and Cross Slope

The gradient of the road is very important to the braking capabilities of the plant and vehicles using it. The gradient, in percent, is equal to the number of metres that the road rises (vertically) over a horizontal distance of 100 meters. For example, a road that rises 9 meters over a horizontal distance of 100 meters is a 9 percent gradient.


Roads should not be designed at more than 10% gradient.

Cross slope, the difference in elevation between the road edges, must be given consideration during haulage road design and construction. On straight roads a level surface would be most beneficial. On curves a cross slope may be required to assist the driver in manoeuvring his vehicle through the curve. Adverse cambers should be avoided.

Adequate water drainage may also require that a cross slope be created. To accommodate both drainage and steer-ability, balance must be established between a level and sloped configuration. The rate of cross slope that will allow a rapid removal of surface water without adversely affecting vehicular control must be determined.