Seat Belts - A Law You Can LIVE With!
On September 8, 2003, a Caterpillar 777B haul truck driver was seriously injured when he lost control of the truck while hauling overburden down a 20% grade to the dump area. The driver was traveling at an excessive speed and the loaded truck veered left into soft material and through the berm on the edge of the dump. The truck overturned and rolled 525 feet on a 38 degree slope. The driver suffered a crushed femur and fractured vertebrae. He was wearing his seatbelt and the truck was equipped with a ROPS (roll over protective structure) which saved his life and protected him from further injuries.
- Monitor the operation of haul trucks to identify equipment, environmental, or operational problems before accidents occur.
- Construct haul roads and dumping points using appropriate grades and proper berms, posting speed and hazard information signs, and when necessary, providing escape ramps.
- Perform all regular maintenance, including the critical braking and steering systems, according to manufacturer's specifications.
- Verify that task training is provided to all haul truck operators. Issues, incidents, and near miss accidents should be evaluated to identify additional training needs or revisions to procedures.
- Always wear your seatbelts.
- Conduct a thorough pre-operational inspection and report defects discovered. Do not operate equipment with safety defects.
- Read your truck operator's manual to understand proper operation of the retarder and brake systems.
- Test brake systems according to the manufacturer's recommendations before equipment is placed in operation.
- Equipment operating speed should be consistent with conditions of the roadway, grades, clearance, visibility, traffic and type of equipment used.
- Never operate a haul truck without a thorough understanding of the traffic rules at the mine as well as safe operating procedures of the truck.