Loco incidents raise loco lockout call

Recent fatal incidents include underground mining mobile equipment collisions. The Chamber of Mines (COM) pilot project promotes loco lockout.

In COM MOSH projects, leading mines volunteer to implement new safety methods, as an example to other mines struggling with the same types of incidents. In the last two years,a MOSH project was tasked  to find cost effective ways of managing locomotive and mobile equipment incidents.

Automated lockout to stop track bound equipment from colliding was proposed by the DMR. Organised labour alleged that implementation of these devices were halted by high cost and slow economic recovery.

Anglo American had implemented automated loco lockout on many of its mines. Other MOSH projects include falls of ground, silica dust exposure, and safety behaviour.

Mining fatalities equal last year’s figures despite government warnings and DMR inspectorate ‘safety fix’ stoppages.

Harmony Unisel loco safety stoppage

Harmony Gold Unisel mine resumed operations after DMR inspectors stopped the mine to investigate a fatal locomotive incident in early July.

A Mine Health and Safety Act section 54 stoppage, intended to investigate, report and correct identified safety deficiencies, was lifted five days later.

PHOTO; Mining loco safety is managed by a range of devices and systems, like ‘dead man’ or fail-to-safe switches and lockout procedures, yet loco and mobile incidents continue to take a high toll in fatalities and injuries underground.

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Edmond Furter

Editor at Sheqafrica.com
Edmond Furter is the editor of Sheqafrica.com. He is a freelance technical journalist, and has won six journalism awards. He specialises in industrial, business, and cultural content in web, journal, and book formats.