Smith Dickson of Thiele Kaolin - Hobbs Mine writes, "an easy way to clean mud from the steps of a front end loader or other equipment is to carry a small garden hand spade in a large zip lock bag. It can fit into a lunch box or lunch tote. Remove the small spade from the zip lock bag, clean the steps, return the spade to the zip lock bag and store it. At times a shovel may not be readily available and this small spade will do the job rather quickly and it is convenient to carry along and it may prevent a slip or fall."
A high number of accidents at surface mines are due to slips and falls from equipment due to mud and ice build up. When a shovel is not available for mounting equipment, using a small garden tool can help in eliminating these slip and fall type accidents. Always remember to keep three points of contact when mounting and dismounting equipment.
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