The purpose of this safe work method statement is to provide direction to the project management team on assessing, managing, controlling and the general use of plant and equipment, along with the operators, on site to ensure maximum safe guards are in place.
This work instruction addresses safety instructions for both projects and other workplaces in the countries where company operates. Additional control measures may be required depending on project and country requirements.
With an ever-increasing use and variety of mechanical plant on construction sites, there is an increased risk of accidents occurring, the results of which are usually very serious if not fatal.
Such plant can be categorized as:
i. Earthmoving plant
ii. Road making plant and equipment
iii. Crushing plant and equipment
iv. Miscellaneous plant
Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
This section covers the more common hazards associated with the plant and the required control measures and procedures to minimize the likelihood of an accident occurring.
With the speed, size and complexity of plant and machinery, hazard identification and the evaluation of the risks associated with the project must be established.
Project management must consider the hazard potential as high due to the seriousness of injuries sustained when plant is involved and the risk assessment should reflect this.
Risks associated with mobile plant
a) Persons being struck by moving plant.
b) Persons being crushed by plant (especially when reversing).
c) Contact with overhead services.
d) Excavating in close proximity to buried services.
e) Overturning of plant.
f) Working in conjunction with or near other plant.
g) Excessive noise from plant
Control Measures for Operation of Mobile Plant & Machinery
i. Third Party Certificate for Operators
ii. Third Party Certificate for Vehicle
iii. Driver’s License (with applicable category)
Although an operator may hold certificate, this must be regarded by the site only as showing that he has reached a basic standard of skill and has attended a Safety Awareness Course.
It does not absolve the site from the necessity to make its own assessment on the overall competence of the operator and authorize him to operate the particular item of plant.
If in any doubt of the operators competency, he must be challenge tested and prove himself competent before being permitted to operate on site.
All plant operators must receive induction training before commencing work and be informed of any specific site rules.
Operational Use Procedure
Persons must not remain on a vehicle that is being loaded with loose material, unless there is adequate protection.
Do not overload. Check that load is secure and evenly distributed.
Ensure that starting handle shafts, belts, worm drives, and flywheels are guarded.
Floors of cabs to be kept tidy free from oil and trip hazards.
No passengers to be carried, unless there is a suitable fixed position and they are authorized to do so.
Persons must not mount or dismount from a moving machine, and should use the proper hand/foot holds; 3 points of contact at all times.
Where adjustments are required to be made by the driver/operator, these should not be made with the engine running, unless unavoidable.
Unattended vehicles should be left on firm level ground, in neutral, hand brake engaged, and engine switched off. Keys not left in ignition.
Before reversing, a check must be made that the rear of the vehicle is clear, If the rear view is obstructed, a banksman/spotter should be provided, specified vehicles should be fitted with audible motion / reversing alarms. Banksman/spotter should always have an eye contact with the driver and vice versa.
Driving up/down gradients should be parallel to the grade and not “across”. Low gears should be selected for downhill travel.
Speed limits must be adhered to. Excessive speed will not be tolerated; repeated failure to comply with limits will result in disciplinary action.
Smoking is prohibited within the cab and during re-fueling, only smoke in designated areas.
Ensure there is a proper “stop” before tipping loads into excavations. A banks man should also be in attendance to assist.
Cabs of vehicles should be secured at the end of the shift. Starting handles or keys should not be left with any vehicle/machines.(Lock-out Facility)
On sites where overhead power lines are present precautions must be taken. Sign-Posted
Noise from plant should be assessed and adequate precautions taken.
All mechanical plant must be in good condition and working order and maintained accordingly. Daily checks of oil, tyre pressure etc. should be in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
Daily pre-use inspections must be carried out and recorded.
All vehicles must be fitted with an orange flashing beacon.
Use of Reversing Alarms
a) Reversing alarms should be considered for plant whose direction of movement is difficult to anticipate, including plant which may spend equal time operating in forward and reverse directions, e.g. excavators, bulldozers, compactors, boom lifts, scissor lifts.
b) Where such plant may be constantly changing direction of motion (e.g. compactors) an alarm which automatically cancels after approximately 8 seconds may be more effective in warning persons in the vicinity of the associated risks.
c) The cancelling alarm option should not be implemented where, due to the design of the plant, the operator has restricted vision when operating the plant in reverse (e.g. rollers where the operator’s seating is only designated for forward movement).
A reversing alarm should be provided on all mobile plant except where:
i. motion alarms are considered more appropriate; or
ii. plant only enters designated parking or delivery areas.
Above requirements do not apply to light vehicles which are of a roadworthy standard and provide good visibility for the driver.
Specific Items of Plant should be referred to in conjunction with the general requirements above.
Dumpers, Tractors and Trailers Operation
Passengers are not permitted to ride any dumper, tractor or in any trailer. The only exception is while the driver is under competent instruction and a fixed seat is provided for the instructor.
The operator must ensure that the machine is maintained in a satisfactory condition, and notify management of any defects. (Pre Use Inspection)
No vehicles may be used for towing on public roads unless the towing vehicle is suitable for the purpose, and fitted with the correct towing hitch. The trailer must be fitted with the regulation trailer plate and a plate displaying the registration of the towing vehicle. The driver must be trained and authorized, with the appropriate and valid license.
After completion of the towing operation, trailer brakes must be applied or wheel chocks used prior to disconnecting the trailer. On articulated trailers, the lock mechanism of the support leg must be fully engaged before the tow vehicle is disconnected. Persons should stand well back during this process.
Operation of Vehicles with Tipping Blades
No person should enter the space beneath the raised body of a tipping vehicle. Where this is necessary, for maintenance or repair, the body must be securely blocked and supported.
When loads are being discharged, additional care should be taken if forward/ reverse movement is necessary to dislodge loose materials, which may bind.
In no circumstances should tipping vehicles be driven with the body in the raised position.
A vehicle with its body raised must not be moved without particular attention being paid to any overhead obstructions, in particular overhead services. (Idiot Bars to be installed)
Fork Lift Trucks Safe Operation Procedure
Forklift trucks (e.g. counterbalanced rider, rough terrain mast type and telescopic jib) must only be operated by persons specifically trained in their operation.
Inspections and maintenance should be carried out as required by the machine’s manufacturer, and should include a weekly check and six monthly thorough examination in addition to examination after an accident, major repair or modification. A certificate of thorough examination should be issued.
The driver must be able to see where he is going. If a load obstructs forward vision, the truck should be driven in reverse (except when going uphill).
When negotiating inclines, the load should be kept “uphill”. If driver’s vision is obscured, a banks man should be provided.
The speed of the lift truck must be appropriate to the circumstances, but on uneven surfaces and rough ground, the vehicle should be driven at low speed with particular attention to breaks and edges of floor slabs, and excavations.
Loaded lift trucks should be moved with the forks kept as low as possible, taking into account the load and ground conditions. “Mast type vehicles” should be tilted backwards. Particular attention should be paid to overhead obstructions. g) Unloaded lift trucks should be driven with the forks approximately 150mm off the ground.
Forklift trucks must not be used as a crane, unless the correct fitments are used as recommended by the manufacturer.
Forklifts may only be converted for use a working platform in accordance with government requirements
Transportation of Earthmoving Vehicles
The loading, transporting and offloading of heavy plant such as earthmoving vehicles, is particularly hazardous.
The machine operator should be responsible, under the directions of the transporter driver, for safe loading and offloading of the machine.
The loading or offloading area should be large enough to allow for the movement of the machine, without striking obstructions or causing hazards to others.
The transporter should be on firm level ground, correctly positioned, and its brakes engaged.
Any ramps should be secured and long enough to keep the ramp angle low.
To prevent tipping, the transporter may need to be blocked. Any packing placed below the transporter deck should be thick enough to prevent tipping, but not so thick that it would jam in position during loading.
Before loading, a check should be made of the machine’s transmission, clutch, brakes and steering, to ensure they are in correct working order. (An unserviceable machine will require the assistance of a transporter-loading winch).
When loading and unloading, the machine should be lined up with the ramps, so that it should not be necessary to turn the machine whilst on the ramps.
Loading and unloading must be at the slowest possible speed particularly at the point of balance.
Careful movement of the machine is necessary on the transporter in order to centralize it etc.
The machine upon being loaded, and prior to removal from site, should have its brakes engaged, be securely lashed, and loose items secured (e.g. spare buckets).
Where possible this area / activity should be barricaded off.
Safe Operation of Crawler Tractors (Dozers)
These machines should be fitted with audible reversing alarms, which are to be maintained in working order.
Strict controls and supervision, of both machine and nearby activities are necessary. The machine operator and persons working in the vicinity of the machine must be made aware of each other’s activities and work boundaries.
Although designed to work on sloping and uneven ground, work on wet, rocky or frozen gradients prove hazardous: owing to track grousers filling and making the machine prone to sliding downhill and our out of control. Slopes on “soft fill” can be particularly hazardous, because of the lower track sinking deeper than the upper one.
When clearing material from the top of a “soft fill” tip or stockpile, a mound of material just back from the edge should be provided, to act as a safety barrier. The machine should approach the edge at right angles.
When traveling, the dozer blade should be kept as low as possible, to allow maximum operator vision and machine stability.
If the machine is used for clearing scrub, or work where material or objects could fall on the cab, then the driver’s cab must be adequately protected.
Scrapers Safe Operation Procedure
Motorized scrapers are essentially high-speed movers of soil, requiring well-maintained haul roads for efficiency and safety.
The haul road should be sufficiently wide to accommodate the traffic using it.
If haul roads cross, and the amount of traffic warrant it, such crossings should be manned or controlled by lights.
A lateral distance of 25m minimum should be maintained between working scrapers.
When working on gradients:
- Bowls should be carried low at all times.
- Bowls must not be over full.
- Turns should be made uphill where possible, or where necessary downhill with the bowl scraping on the ground surface.
Machines should be kept in gear when traveling downhill.
When traveling, the bowl should be high enough to avoid collision with the ground or any objects.
Safe Operation of 360° Excavators
All excavators require a thorough examination to be carried out at least once every fourteen months, the certificate being available for inspection. The machine must be examined by a competent person (Third Party) before use on site and thereafter every seven days. Written records should be kept in the Register of Site Safety Records.
At all times a clearance of at least 600mm must be maintained between any part of the machine, particularly the ballast weight, and the nearest obstruction. If this is not possible, the area should be fenced off.
No person may enter within the working radius of the machine without the knowledge of the operator.
Excavator buckets or loads should not be slewed directly over personnel or vehicle cabs. Vehicles should be loaded over the site or rear, and material should not be dropped from an unnecessary height.
Persons must not remain on a vehicle that is being loaded with loose materials unless there is adequate protection.
The manufacturer’s recommend bucket size must not be exceeded.
Overhangs must be avoided at a high workface. The wheels or tracks of the machine should be at 90° to the workface, to enable quick withdrawal if necessary.
A safe position must be determined, accounting for the type of soil, when excavating. A workface below the machine must never be undercut such that it would affect the stability of the machine.
When operating on a gradient, the bucket must not be extended too far in the downhill direction, and travel must be undertaken with extreme caution, to ensure the machine does not topple, go out of control or collide with objects.
Tyres on wheeled excavators should be in good condition and correctly inflated. k) Outriggers, where fitted, must be used when the machine is excavating.
Safe Operation of 180° Backhoe Loaders
Generally, the same precautions as above apply, and in addition:
When the front shovel is being used, the backhoe attachment should be in travel position, with safety locking device in place.
When operating the backhoe in poor ground conditions, the outriggers tend to sink, and therefore, frequent checks should be made of the stability of the machine.
The loading shovel should always be lowered to the ground to stabilize the machine, when the backhoe is being used
Trenchers Safe Procedure
It is essential to determine, before digging commences, specific precautions that must be taken to ensure safe working with machines of this type.
Trenching machines should be fitted with a safety “slip clutch” on the digging mechanism, which stops the drive when an obstruction is encountered.
The operator must manually disengage the digging mechanism, before attempting to remove the obstruction.
Turning of the machine, whilst digging, should be done cautiously.
Operation of Loading Shovels
All loading shovels must be fitted with an audible alarm, which should be maintained in working order.
The tires of wheeled machines must be in good condition, and correctly inflated.
The bucket should be carried low when traveling.
When traveling up gradients, the load and bucket should lead.
Harsh braking should be avoided particularly when the bucket is loaded.
All graders should be fitted with an audible reversing alarm, which should be maintained in working order.
Although designed for use on slopes, such work can be hazardous in wet conditions.
Many graders are provided with front wheel lean, articulated steering or wheel offset steering, the facilities should be used with caution on sloping ground and near excavations.
When working on a road used by other traffic, the blade should be angled towards the outer edge.
When scarifying across a slope, the blade should be positioned across the machine to provide protection against tipping.
Machinery Safe Operation Method
All dangerous parts of machinery, including non-powered machinery, must be securely guarded or fenced, unless they are so placed and constructed as to be as safe as if they were so guarded.
Where a fixed or interlocked guard is not possible, another acceptable method is by provision of an automatic safety device, which prevents the operator from coming into contact with the dangerous part of the machine.
All guards must be substantially constructed, properly maintained, and kept in position whilst the dangerous part is in motion or use.
The machine controls should be positioned for safe and easy access by the operator, and clearly identified.
Handles, hand wheels and levers should be positioned and spaced for safe handling, with ample clearance from other parts of the machine.
Braking systems, where provided, should be maintained in efficient working order.
Persons operating machinery should be trained and competent with Third Party Certificate. They should be authorized in writing, where Company Policy requires. Training should incorporate the following points:
The legal requirements of machine safety.
An outline of machine hazards and likely injuries.
An outline of machine safeguards, the use and operation of guards.
Use of personal protective equipment where necessary.
The need for good housekeeping around the machine.
The use of any necessary ventilation equipment.
The need for adequate lighting.
Any electrical, pneumatic or hydraulic hazards which may exist, and the precautions to be taken