When it comes to fires, earthmoving equipment presents a particularly dangerous risk. First up, the machinery’s operation is often dependent on hydraulic fluids, which can catch on fire when under extreme pressure.
Second, it is made up of components that ignite easily and are often placed threateningly close to sources of heat. However, with the right care, earthmoving equipment can be perfectly safe – on even the hottest of days. Here are some tips for keeping your gear – and your workers – well protected.
Know the nitty gritty details
According to Australian law, anyone who oversees a construction or mining site is obliged to meet particular regulations. Failing to respect these can lead not only to physical danger, but also to financial penalties. So the first step is to get to know the regulations governing your operation.
Order a risk assessment
It’s crucial to order a risk assessment, which will inform you of the fire risks posed by your site, and outline the best protection procedures for your particular gear. This risk assessment should comply with Australian Standard (AS) 5062-2006: Fire Protection for Mobile and Transportable Equipment.
Vehicle fire suppression systems and fire extinguishers
Every vehicle should be fitted with a vehicle fire suppression system, often referred to as a VFS. Once it is installed, it should be serviced regularly, to meet AS 5062-2006. In addition, all new and used earthmoving equipment must have fire extinguishers on hand.
Any hazards must be marked clearly, as must all relevant protective equipment, including fire extinguishers, so that they’re accessible in an emergency.