Safety: a state of mind
A large part of this documentation will be devoted to safety in an effort to heighten anyone dealing with tyres awareness of the risks associated with using earthmover tyres. Bear in mind that a giant tyre weighs over 4 tons, measures 4.20 m diameter and has an internal volume of 9 000 litres.
Precautions are required when dealing with tyres, and these will be set out in the following chapters. Safety must be a constant concern though when moving about on a works site or mine, which is why we suggest you read the following, written with a view to encouraging a “Safety” state of mind.
The relevant safety instructions will be set out in each chapter of the maintenance documentation but the following recommendations apply almost universally.
Be sure your presence is known
Introduce yourself and make your presence known at the entrance to the works site, mine or any site. This is generally a compulsory procedure. But don’t forget to let someone know again each time you inspect a vehicle or go to an isolated or infrequently visited area.
On arrival at the works site, or mine, systematically request the instructions for working and driving on site and any special safety rules.
Don’t forget that, even if you visit a site regularly, the safety rules change according to the operating conditions.
A hard hat, protective glasses, safety shoes, gloves and a reflective harness (or safety vest or jacket) should be worn at all times by all personnel handling tyres. Hearing protection over 85 db.
The 4 fundamental questions
We recommend using this set of questions that will allow you to approach any given situation from a “safety” angle.
Is the situation hazardous?
Does the situation present safety risks. If so, how can these risks be prevented? (fastening - wedging) Is the work area clean and tidy? Untidiness and uncleanliness contribute to accidents (surfaces that are slippery or cluttered with tools or other materials make accidents more likely).
What tools or items of equipment present risks?
Some machines present risks. Are the operators qualified to use these machines? Do the machines have indicators to signal their movement?
Example: the mounting of tyres requires the use of mobile mechanical equipment. Are the areas where they are manoeuvring clear? Are there alarms for moving equipment?
What activities are hazardous?
What activities present a risk? Can the methods and techniques used be hazardous?
Example: welding a wheel without removing the tyre.
What immediate measures can be taken?
The answer to this question depends on the answers to the previous questions.
Prior to doing anything on a works site, mine or any site, you must be able to answer the following questions. In most cases, the answers are provided by the information distributed prior to authorization being given for access to the site.
What safety rules apply to the site?
Are radios or mobile telephones allowed. Where is emergency equipment; located? Example: fire extinguishers, emergency first-aid kits; alarms?
Who should be notified in the event of an emergency?
Rules for driving on site
Are you authorised to drive on site?
- What mandatory equipment is required for vehicles?
- What are the rules concerning identification?
- What rules exist concerning the right of way overtaking, or the direction of traffic?
- What area(s) are you authorized to drive in?
Identification of problem areas
Are there any permanently hazardous areas? (intersections, curves with no visibility, explosive stores) Are there any temporary hazardous passages? (haul roads undergoing maintenance work, moving of heavy equipment). Are you familiar with the schedule for mine blasting?
The immediate surroundings of a loaded vehicle are always a hazardous area: material can fall out of the skip at any time, and especially when the vehicle moves off.
Moreover, never forget that when you are close to a vehicle, the driver cannot see you.
What to do in an emergency
The procedure to be followed in an emergency can be defined in 3 stages.
Without endangering your own safety, make the immediate surroundings safe to avoid a further accident.
Example: in the event of an accident on a haul road:
- park the vehicles in a safe place, at a sufficient distance from the accident;
- signal the accident to other users of the road sufficiently early.
See the Emergency Communication Triangle on the following page, which summarises the essential information to be transmitted.
Administer first-aid only if you have recognised first-aid skills, or in the event of immediate danger for those concerned.
MICHELIN’s actions to promote safety
MICHELIN organises regular campaigns to heighten awareness of safety issues when working with tyres. During these campaigns, the employees concerned may attend a presentation given by MICHELIN technicians.
To back up these actions, we have issued a “Safety poster” reminding operators of best practices.
Risk analysis in the use of tyres
In addition to safety procedures, MICHELIN offers to carry out risk analyses for its customers’ tyre operations. These procedures are conducted jointly by the MICHELIN representative and the customer’s designated representatives. Your MICHELIN representative would be happy to provide further details.
For each area covered in this document, we draw your attention to the essential protective measures. In addition, specific recommendations for each area indicate the best practices. Please don’t hesitate to contact your usual MICHELIN representative for any further information you may require.