Safe work near drawpoints in underground mines
- Safe work near drawpoints in underground minesSafeToWork - Sydney,NSW,Australia
May 1, 2008
The guidance note will aim to help mine operators identify hazards and safety controls associated with working near drawpoint openings. It was developed after a Coronial Inquiry into the death of a mine worker who was struck by a rock deflecting out of a stope.
According to the guidance note, falling rocks are the main hazard near drawpoints, but other falling debris should also be considered as potential safety risks when operators are establishing safe working controls.
Mine workers typically need to be near drawpoints and stope brows during drilling, charging and blasting, mucking, filling, surveying, and when carrying out ventilation and geological work.
Although the guidance note recommends changing the design of mines and operations to eliminate the need for working near open brows or holes, it recognises this is not possible in all cases. In such circumstances, it recommends risk assessments to address the hazards of working near open brows of stopes and other holes.
Workers are not allowed to work directly inside a slope, under the brow of a drawpoint or close to a vertical overhead opening without effective safeguards. These cautions come after a worker was killed by rocks being ejected from open stopes. Operators must therefore enforce safe distances for mining workers from open excavations.
The guidance note details many other hazard minimisation procedures and equipment which can be undertaken in relation to this issue. It also cites the legislative obligations for mining operators to minimise risks to workers through hazard assessment._______________________________
U. S. Mine Rescue Association
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