Aggregates Manager

January 2014

Aggregates Manager Digital Magazine

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OPERATIO 1 2 Properly grade dump area Best practices for safe dumping D umping from high walls or from the tops of stockpiles or spoil piles is performed in many aggregate quarries. It's the quickest and easiest way to put unwanted material back into the pit and maintain large stockpiles, especially at small quarry sites with a shortage of space in which to store material. However, if dumping is not done in a safe manner, it can be one of the most dangerous tasks performed in aggregate mining. In the 1990s, 25 miners were killed when their haul trucks went over the edge at a dump point, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Since that time, MSHA has come up with a list of best practices and offered documents and videos, as well as workshops, to help increase safety at dump points. When discussing dump point safety, MSHA emphasizes that the first thing on every operator's list should be training, for both new and long-time employees. Proper training should be reinforced with regularly scheduled safety briefings and refresher training. All employees should be trained to recognize dump-point hazards and taught how to take appropriate measures to correct or barricade unsafe dump areas. Truck drivers should be trained to use safe dumping procedures, such as backing perpendicular to the dump point and not using the berm to stop. Dozer operators should be instructed on how to maintain adequate berms and keep the dump area properly graded. Training is key, according to Cynthia Kirby, corporate director safety and health, Vulcan Materials Co. "Task training for personnel engaged in dumping is conducted in weekly safety meetings, in mobile equipment operators' training, and in annual refresher training," she says. "This includes training concerning hazards around stockpiles, spoils piles, and high-wall areas." Ahmed Hamadi, operations manager for Lafarge Midwest Aggregates, agrees. "There are many critical things we enforce at Lafarge to ensure safe dumping and stockpiling practices, and none of them is more important than the other," he says. "An adequate dumping point that has been leveled with a slight upward incline toward the edge, controlled speed when backing, and ensuring the truck bed is down prior to forward movement are all examples of good operation practices we reinforce in our training." In the mid-2000s, MSHA released a document titled Dump Point Safety, which provides a tremendous amount of in-depth information, as well as images, about dumping safely from high places. MSHA co-developed the document with the help of the Mine Waste and Geotechnical Engineering Division and the Pittsburgh Safety and Health Technology Center. The document contains best practices at dump points for mine operators, haul truck drivers, dozer operators, and front-end loader operators. The entire document can be found at The dump area should be graded level from side to side and kept free of soft spots to prevent trucks from tipping over as the bed is raised. The dump area should also be graded so that trucks have to back up a slight grade to dump. This provides the driver with better control while backing to the dump point, puts the truck in a better position to pull forward if a problem develops, and provides better water drainage. 4 5 Don't dump above loadout area It is best to dump and load out in separate areas. Loading out from the toe of a stockpile removes material that was supporting the slope. This can undercut the berm, making the stockpile unstable. It is too dangerous to back a haul truck near the edge of such a stockpile. If there is any uncertainty about the stability of a slope, dump a full truck length short of the edge and push the material over using a tracked vehicle, or dump at the base of the pile. AGGREGATES MANAGER OperationsIllustrated_AGRM0114.indd 18 12/13/13 9:07 AM

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