Trackless machine
New trackless mobile machinery regulations will come into effect on 27 May 2015 for South African mines

South Africa – New trackless mobile machinery regulations  and the systems that must be implemented by employers will come into effect on 27 May 2015 for South African mines.

This is according to Advocate NA Ramatlhodi, South African Minister of Mineral Resources.

These new trackless mobile machinery regulations will thus apply in addition to the systems and safety mechanisms that are set out in the Mandatory Code of Practice for the Operation of Trackless Mobile Machinery which employers are required to have in place in terms of section 9 of the MHSA.

Employers would be well advised to ensure consistency between these regulations and the safety requirements set out in mine specific codes of practice, standards and training materials.

27 May 2015 is a fixed date, with the exception of two regulations relating to the implementation of “fail to safe” potential collision systems on diesel powered trackless mobile machines.

The new regulations address a number of aspects relating to the safe use of trackless mobile machines on mines. The topics addressed in these regulations are listed below.

1. Regulations relating to pedestrians and trackless mobile machinery on mines.

Employers are now required to specifically take reasonably practicable measures to ensure that pedestrians on mines are prevented from being injured as a result of collisions between themselves and trackless mobile machines.

2.  Additional requirements in respect of diesel powered trackless mobile machines.

All diesel powered trackless mobile machines must be provided with means to automatically detect the presence of any pedestrian within its vicinity. Upon detection of the pedestrian in the vicinity of the diesel powered trackless mobile machine both the operator of the trackless mobile machine and the pedestrian must be warned of each other’s presence by means of an effective warning.

3.  Employers must take reasonably practicable measures to ensure that the design, construction and maintenance of roadways is appropriate for the type and category of trackless mobile machinery in use at a mine.

4.  Regulations relating to the use and operation of trackless mobile machinery on mines.

Employers must take reasonably practicable measures to ensure that trackless mobile machines are designed, constructed and maintained so that persons getting on, working on and getting off them can do so safely. Employers must also take reasonably practicable measures to ensure that unauthorised persons do not ride on or operate trackless mobile machines.

5.  Requirements of braking systems on trackless mobile machinery.

The employer must take reasonably practicable measures to prevent persons from being injured as a result of brake failure. Such measures must include the installation of adequate and effective braking systems, adequate and routine testing of braking systems for intended functionality and regular maintenance.

Importantly, where a combined braking system is used, the design of the braking system must comply with the requirements for the separate braking systems and that it “fails to safe”.

6.  Regulations relating to battery charging facilities and diesel re-fuelling facilities.

Reasonably practicable measures must be taken to ensure that a mine’s battery charging facilities and diesel re-fuelling facilities are ergonomically designed, constructed and equipped to ensure:

  • adequate through ventilation;
  • adequate fire suppression equipment;
  • effective provisions to treat persons in the event of acid spillage; and
  • appropriate and adequate lighting.

In addition, surface diesel re-fuelling facilities at mines must comply with SANS 10089 -1 (2008), SANS 10089 -2 (2007) and SANS 10089 -3 (2010).

7.  Safety requirements in respect of trailers.

Employers must take reasonably practicable measure to ensure that the design and construction of any trailer is in accordance with specifications approved by a competent person. These specifications must take into account the intended use of the trailer.

The trailer must be capable of being coupled and uncoupled safely and measures must be in place to ensure that no inadvertent uncoupling of a trailer can occur.

8.   Regulations relating to remote and remotely controlled trackless mobile machines.

A number of South African National Standards have been listed in the regulations and employers who make use of remote and remotely controlled trackless mobile machines should ensure that they have implemented reasonably practicable measures to ensure that remote controlled devices for trackless mobile machines using a wireless remote controlled device comply with these listed SANS standards.

This article was written by Kate Collier, partner, and assisted by Ganeefah Dawood, associate, Webber Wentzel.

Top Stories:

First Quantum Minerals – Agreement on EBITDA covenant

Mining law in Burkina Faso: new government raises risks

Jewellery diamond demand  $81 bn in 2014