THE Queensland Department of Mines and Energy (DME) has warned of confusion in the mining industry with the provision, use and maintenance of operator protective devices on mobile plant equipment in underground mines.
A DME safety bulletin said the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 imposes obligations on designers, manufacturers, suppliers and employers to ensure plant is safe and without risk to health when properly used. According to DME mines inspector Rob Regan, mines must fit operator and passenger protective structures and seat restraints to all mobile plant where a risk is established.
“Operator protective structures should be designed and tested by a qualified engineer in accordance with a recognised standard for the type of mobile plant,” Regan said.
According to the bulletin, load haul dump vehicles are considered earth moving machinery by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, and protective structures must be provided.
“Where provided operator protective structures and seat restraints must be used and maintained,” Regan said.