This Safety alert has been issued following an increase in reported unplanned movement / loss of control incidents involving rubber tyred vehicles. Of particular concern is the increasing number of vehicles contacting centre dividers or safety berms and then rolling.
How did it happen?
A review of these incidents reveals that there have been several contributing factors identified causing the operator to lose control of the vehicle, including:
The operator had a micro sleep.
The operator has had a sneezing fit.
The operator was reaching down to pick up something they had dropped.
The operator’s vision was obscured by the sun.
The operator was using a mobile phone while driving.
While there is still a concern about the number of vehicles losing control on wet roads, the intent of this Safety alert is to raise awareness of additional contributing factors causing the loss of control of vehicles (refer Safety alert 251 - Safe operation of light vehicles). The increase in rubber tyred vehicles (especially light vehicles) contacting centre dividers or safety berms and then rolling is of particular concern. In most cases, the operator of the vehicle has lost or was not in control of the vehicle as it contacted a divider or berm. In these incidents, the design of the divider or berm has allowed the vehicle to drive up onto it like a ramp, causing the vehicle to roll. Recommendations:
Mines should take into consideration the material used and the design of dividers or berms so they cannot become a ramp for vehicles on contact.
Mines should regularly audit the standard of dividers or berms to ensure that weathering and road maintenance activities have not altered the original design.
Mines should, as part of their fatigue management plan, regularly remind workers of the signs of fatigue and possible causes. This should include the effects of heaters in vehicles during the winter months.
Mines should reinforce to workers that if their vision is impeded, they must reduce their speed or stop.
Mines should reinforce to workers that if they drop something while driving, they must bring the vehicle to a complete stop before attempting to retrieve it.