How many of the tasks that our people carry out take too long or have risks associated with them as a result of suspended loads? Many companies in Mining, Construction and Agricultural fields strive for “Zero Harm” and “Safety First” cultures on work sites and let’s face it; we all want our staff to go home safely to their families. Not only does today’s cultural environment demand it but our responsibility as employers and managers also forces us to consider the safety systems as a primary outcome in all workplaces.
With the millions spent on safety systems around the country by workplaces there are still plenty of areas that offer improvement opportunities. Traditionally much of the low hanging fruit is picked off eliminating the manual handling injuries, slips, trip and falls plus cuts, burns abrasions which make up the majority of injuries to workers and generally can be reduced fairly easily. PPE, awareness, SOPs and JSAs generally do a good job here.
LiftRite and Manitou are doing their part in reducing injury through the use of task specific construction, agriculture, drilling and mining attachments for machines. Applying the thinking of “the right tool for the job” provides a solid start in identifying the safest way to do the job and using the correct attachment is also the most efficient.
Recently we reported on a customer who achieved a 67% time saving completing a routine maintenance task changing out a hydraulic cylinder using a Manitou Telehandler with a Cylinder Clamp attachment. What wasn’t explored was the safety aspect of that task and how it reduced the risks associated with that job:
- Suspended load risks were completely eliminated
- Crush injury risk was reduced by less interaction with the job item
- Pinch points were reduced as the attachment controlled the alignment
- Bending, Lifting and twisting was eliminated as the attachment positively clamped the job
- Risk was reduced as an EWP was not operating close to a suspended load
- There were no Dogging risks as slinging was eliminated
- The task was completed using a Remote Control which reduced task visibility risks
- Task exposure time was lower than the previous job method
Looking at some of the recent serious accidents that have occurred on mine or construction sites, many of these incidents could have been avoided using the right tool for the job. Traditional methods of conducting maintenance on heavy equipment have relied on using the “available equipment” but these simply haven’t kept up with technology. The same is true for some construction tasks where the “old way” is now outmoded and there are new, safer and faster ways of doing the job.
Applying “the right tool” idea has the ability to change safety outcomes on sites across a vast range of tasks in mining maintenance, construction and agriculture activities. The overall costs of equipment is reduced by multi-tasking ensuring utilisation rates are high and equipment isn’t idle. The Manitou range of telescopic handlers has a large range of attachments aimed at different industries in order to provide the most effective solutions.
Comparing a Safe Work Plan and JSA using “traditional methods” Vs a Manitou Attachment will quickly identify where the safety benefits will come from. It’s not often that the Safety Team can be in the same corner as the Production Team in terms of the safest and fastest way to run the task – a nice change indeed!