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SURFACE MINING EQUIPEMENTS

TIPS - ON - SAFE PRACTICES - FOR SURFACE MINING EQUIPEMENTS

(Heavy Earth Moving Equipment) 
The surface mining equipmets or Heavy Earth Moving Equipments like Shovels, Drills, Dupers, Excavators etc. are complex sophissticated and massive equipments. The capital invloved for the procurement of these equipment is phenomenal and value of output of these machines are enormous. These equipments can be invlolved in accidents if safe operating proctices are not followed leading to the downtime which takes heavy toll in terms of production and revenue loss, which is detrimental for any mines. General safe practices for working and operating the machines are to be followed in addition to the safe practices as specified by the manufacturer for optimum utilisation of the equipments. The responsibility of the safety of the equipments and economical production generally lies on Management, Operators and Maintenance crew.
MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES 
To ensure that the authorized operators are trained, competent, physically and mentally fit. 
To ensure that the equipment is in safe operating condition and must stop if any undsafe condition is found. 
The ground crew should be capable to recongnize the hazards and signal the operator to avoid them instantly. 
To ensure that the supervisor is also assigned the job of safety. 
Assign specific people to co-ordinate and direct the service, maintain, repair and inspection teams during each shift. 
Assign qualified crew with proper tools for specific maintenance jobs. 
To ensure that adequate lighting is provided.

        OPERATOR’S QUALIFICATIONS 

Operators who have the requirements of operatonal tests as well as physical and mental condition are only to be qappointed for operating the earth moving equipments. 
Operators should have basic knowledge regarding maintenance and its importance in running the machine. 
The employer should conduct a test for all the operators to evaluate their performance and then only should authorize them to operate the machine. 
The operator must be able to read, write and understand operator’s manual. 
OPERATOR’S RESPONSIBILITIES 
Safety must be the Operator’s main concern. He should consult with his supervisors when safety is in doubt. 
He must be alert, free from influence of alcohol or drugs. 
Operator must ensure that unauthorised people, equipments and materials are kept out of the danger zone. 
Operators Shovels, Draglines and Excavators must never operate with dipper / drag bucket over people. 
Before starting the equipment a warning signal to be given by the operator. 
Operator should check and ensure that all gauges and indicators are in working condition. 
Test all controls and brakes before machine starts working 
During the operation of the machine the operator should be alert for unusal sounds, vibrations, smoke / smell of fire and must stop the equipment immeditely and check for any such irregularity. 
Operator must make a safety checks before starting the quipment in each shift. The emphasis should be on lockout tags, warnings, equipment guards etc. 
RESPONSIBILITIES OF MAINTENANCE CREW 

Any unsafe condition or practice in operating the machine should be reported to the supervisors and to stop the equipment immediately. 
Must follow all procedure for shut downs / tag out conditions. 
Watch for hazards and alert the operators / supervisor. 
To contact the operator before boarding the machine while it is in operation. 
GENERAL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS 
Determine the load bearing capacity of the ground on which the machine will operate before taking the machine and ensure that it is sufficient to bear the weight of the machine 
Be careful while shifting the equipment so that no overhead lines or undergound cables / pipelines etc. are damaged. 
Determine safety zones for swinging, propel etc. and ensure that this area is free from obstacles. 
People / equipments can be pinched / entangled / crushed by moving machinery, hence no person should be allowed to place or move around the moving machinery. 
Before leaving the machine all the controls should be made neutral and motor / engine should be switched off. 
Prior to servicing the machine all shut down procedures are to be followed. 
Always work with adequate lighting. 
Keep the machines clean and neat. 
The following are some safety tips in operating / maintaining some of the earth moving equipment:
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS FOR DRILLS
Do not march the machine over long distances, with drilling tower in standing position.
In case of electric drills cables slackness should be maintained while shifting.
During drilling keep all unauthorized people off the rig.
Proper care should be taken while lowering or jacking up the machine so that the machines are not tilted.
Use of dust suppression system is must while drilling as drilling produces flying debries.
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS FOR DRAGLINES
Draglines / their Service Cranes should never be used for lifting the people.
Avoid swing jerking while operating the machine.
Use a signal man for moving the machine.
Do not swing the boom / bucket over people.
Observe for collapases or sliding materials while machine is under operation.
Never leave the running machine un-attended and ensure that the machine is shut off before leaving.
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS FOR SHOVELS AND EXCAVATORS
Never use these for lifting the people.
Never exceed the grade limitations.
Do not travel with filled dipper bucket
Avoid swing braking.
Too large rocks are to be handled safely,
Do not undercut or else cave in may take place.
PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN FOR MAINTENANCE JOBS.
Prior to under the work inform the concerned operating crew.
Follow strictly shut down and tagging procedures.
Never start the machine if any tags notices are displayed.
The system requires that the individual locks or tags placed on the controls or other devices to prevent usage are removed by the same person who has installed them.
Specific operating and maintenance manual are to be read and understood clearly before any maintenance or service jobs are undertaken.
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All the platforms, staircases, walkways, ladders are to be checked regularly for their proper fitment.
All the steel wire ropes are to be inspected daily for cracks or damages. Loose or missing hardware are to be replaced immediately.
Do not lubricate when the machine is working.
Use of proper lifting slings is must while lifting heavy loads.
Before the service is start is has to be ensured that the machine is on level ground.
While working on equipment ensure that all controls are neutral and brakes are set.
Especially while working on shovels and excavators bucket is palced on the ground and counter weights are supported.
While working on pressurised systems (oil and air) ensure that pressure is released from the system before starts of the work.
In addition to above safety tips discussed, operators, maintenance crews and whosoever concerned with equipment should follow the instructions / guidelines provided by equipment manufacturers for particular type of equipment.

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