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ASSESSMENT OF ACCIDENT FREQUENCY RATE IN SOME SELECTED QUARRIES

 

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ASSESSMENT OF ACCIDENT FREQUENCY RATE IN SOME SELECTED QUARRIES

CHAPTER TWO

Literature review

1.1           Background of the study

Maintenance can be defined as working on something to keep it in a functioning and safe state and preserving it from failure or decline. The “something” could be a workplace, work equipment, or

means of transport (e.g. a ship).

Preventive – or proactive – maintenance is carried out to keep something functional. This type of activity is usually planned and scheduled.

Corrective – or reactive – maintenance is repairing something to get it working again. This is an unscheduled, unplanned task, usually associated with greater hazards and higher risk levels.

Maintenance is not the exclusive domain of fitters and mechanics. It is the responsibility of almost all workers in every sector and is carried out in almost every working environment.

Workers’ health and safety can be affected during the maintenance process, but also by lack of maintenance or inadequate maintenance. Design of equipment and the work area also has a significant impact on the health and safety of workers performing maintenance.

Maintenance work in the quarrying industry

Quarrying1 is one of the most dangerous industries to work in: quarry workers are twice as likely to be killed in an accident at work as construction workers, and 13 times more likely to die at work as those

in manufacturing industries2. The use of large earth-moving vehicles and machines, the handling of explosives and heavy loads, ever-present airborne dust, and simply working on dangerous sites are

all aspects of quarrying that increase the risk of both accidents and occupational diseases. A significant proportion of fatalities in the quarrying sector are associated with maintenance work, the use of vehicles and fixed machinery, and falls from height3. Many accidents happen during maintenance work and these might affect not only maintenance staff but also other workers on site.

A worker at a stone crushing and screening plant was seriously injured while carrying out corrective maintenance on a moving conveyor belt. The worker’s right hand was trapped in the moving belt and

his right arm was dragged between the return belt and tail drum. Because the worker was wearing gloves he managed to free his arm. However he had multiple bone fractures, tissue damage and

friction burns to his right arm.

Quarries must be properly inspected and maintained to ensure the health and safety of all workers on site. Maintenance activities at quarries range from the maintenance of machines, equipment and vehicles to the keeping of roadways on site in good order, attending to such matters as providing edge protection and securing excavations.

Quarry maintenance workers are exposed to many hazards, including frequent and heavy lifting, noise and vibration, and hazardous substances such as oil, gas, hydraulic fluid, antifreeze and welding fumes. They work in awkward positions and often have to use high-pressure hoses and vessels or work on machines that are still running.

The nature of their work means that they often have to work unsocial hours or at weekends when normal operations stop. They frequently work under severe time pressure and this, of course, increases the risk of accidents. In addition, maintenance is sometimes outsourced which means that contract workers unfamiliar with the quarry and systems of work may be on-site.

In all industries, maintenance is an area within which a significant number of accidents occur. About 32% of all occupational accidents in Germany between1992-1995 happened while maintenance work was being carried out. In France about 44% of all fatal accidents in 2002 were related to maintenance work. The German statutory accident insurance institution for the quarrying industry reported that between 1999 and 2003, 48% of all accidents in the sector were related to maintenance and repair tasks.

A quarry worker was severely injured while maintaining a stone cutter. The machine was running as he greased it, and his clothes became trapped in the shaft and were wound up with great force.8.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Many fatalities and serious injuries at quarries happen during the cleaning and adjustment of machinery while it is still running or due the unexpected start-up of equipment while it is being worked on. According to the German accident insurance9 institution 36 % of all fatal accidents among maintenance workers are caused in this way, exacerbated by such factors as machine operating errors, inadequate safety measures and poor communication.

1.3           Objectives of the study

1.    To understand the causes of accidents at quarry sites

2.    To understand the types of accidents at quarry sites

3.    To know the solutions to the challenges of accidents at quarry sites

1.4           Research Questions

1.    What  the causes of accidents at quarry sites

2.    What are the types of accidents at quarry sites

3.    What are the solutions to the challenges of accidents at quarry sites

1.5           Research Hypothesis

H0: Accidents at quarry sites are not avoidable

H1: Accidents at quarry sites avoidable

1.6           Limitations of study

There was limited time and finance during the course of the study

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