WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert regarding a recent incident at a quarry when a dump truck was tipping waste material over the crest of a dump head and the slope failed.
Tipping off or extracting rock, sand, or gravel from or in the vicinity of a slope may put employees or independent contractors at risk of: falling from the crest of the slope; being engulfed by materials from sliding, collapsing or subsiding slopes; and/or being struck by falling materials or plant.
WorkSafe Victoria said risks associated with working near the crest and toes of slopes in quarries can be controlled by:
- conducting geotechnical stability assessments of slopes, including pit operating faces, overburden faces, overburden
- dumps, product stockpiles, and tailing dam embankments
- providing employees and independent contractors with information, instruction, training or supervision to enable them to perform their work in a way that is safe and without risks to health and safety
- ensuring that safe systems of work are in place and include:
- loading and unloading material near slope faces
- working near slope faces (eg preparing shots), and
- conducting regular visual inspections, particularly after heavy rain events, for signs of geotechnical hazards (for example, cracks in the slope face).