Drill Site security – Moving equipment
Employees working on drill sites can be exposed to hazards associated with drilling equipment as well as risks that are related to climate and terrain in general. No one wants to deal with accidents on a drill site so education as well as precautionary measures can go a long way in reducing the number of accidents and the severity of the accidents. Yes, we know you may have heard this all before, but we believe it is worth repeating.
How accidents occur
Many hazards are related to moving and rotating equipment. Crush style injuries can be caused by catching fingers or feet between moving machine parts. Workers can be too close to exposed rotating parts on the drill – they may be required to get close to the point of operation in order to change rods or bits or collect core.
Impact injuries can be caused by hitting fingers or hands when using tools or by being hit by flying material such as broken cables.
Entanglement injuries can occur by being too close to unguarded machinery, where loose clothing, jewelry or loose long hair can draw workers into the equipment.
Prevention is the key
- Personnel should be educated about the hazards related to diamond drills, and properly trained in the correct operation and maintenance of tools and drilling equipment.
- Employees should be supervised to make sure safe working practices are employed and control systems are used.
- All drilling equipment with exposed moving parts should be guarded, and systems should be in place to prevent workers from getting too close to exposed moving or rotating parts of the machine. These systems can include emergency stops to quickly stop equipment motion in case of an incident, and limit switches.
- In addition to these guards, interlocks that prevent inadvertent contact with rotating equipment are a great idea and can be mandatory in some regions.
- Prior to removing guards to conduct maintenance, the equipment must be shut down a locked out and tagged out, based on a specific procedures.
- Have an established medical emergency plan. While prompt medical care is best, this may not be possible on remote sites. Make sure you have suitable rescue equipment and a designated contact location near the drill site to facilitate contact with Emergency Medical Services.
- When working in remote sites, emergency first aid protocol should be studied practiced and implemented. Daily “tailgate talks” are a common and recommended practice and involve an informal meeting where safety issues covered.
- Make sure you do daily equipment inspections before each shift starts.
Employee Safety checklist
- Wear well-fitting protective clothing.
- Wear a hard hat, eye protection and safety boots.
- Use a safety belt and life line.
- Don’t wear rings and jewelry at work.
- Use the right tool for the job and use it correctly.
- Don’t try to repair moving machinery.
- Store tools properly.
- Don’t rush.
- Keep the work place neat and safe.
- Lift heavy objects properly.
- Know and respect fire hazards.
- Check wire rope and other equipment regularly.
- Replace worn equipment.
- Know the equipment. Study the operation manuals and follow the suppliers’ safety recommendations.