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Staying visible in dangerous environments

For those working in quarries, they are working in one of the most hazardous industries in the world. The mining and quarrying industry has a higher fatality rate than the construction and manufacturing industries combined. The accidents and deaths that occur in quarry work are mainly due to maintenance work, vehicle accidents, falling from height and accidents with fixed machinery.

Many accidents happen during regular cleaning and maintenance of machinery or during the process of adjusting a machine while it is in operation. Unexpected start-ups of machinery during cleaning or maintenance also cause serious accidents.

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Other hazards include occupational diseases and working with huge moving vehicles, explosives and continually dusty environments. There is a lot of noise, dangerous materials and vibrations taking place on a quarry site that also set up a backdrop of hazardous potential. Many workers work long shifts during unsociable hours and under considerable time pressure.

Safety regulations are crucial in this type of environment. Meeting these regulations often requires that vehicles display highly visible safety flags and lights to help improve the visibility for both drivers of large machinery and workers on foot. Light vehicles will also be fitted with bumper bars to provide a further level of protection.

In darkness and when visibility is poor, light vehicles become very difficult to see. Operating in these circumstances requires the use of flashing, rotating beacon lights so they can be seen more clearly. However, these are not always entirely adequate, especially in terrain that features dips and hills. Combining the beacon with other measures, such as a Buggy Whip, can improve this situation. A bright LED light on a long reflective safety flag ensures that vehicles can always be seen, even if they are in a dip or hill. For more information on the Buggy Whip, visit WISUK.

The LED light weighs almost nothing and sits on a tough fibreglass rod, keeping the electrical components protected from external weather damage. The safety flag is mounted onto the vehicle with a quick-release latch, so the flag can be quickly removed when the vehicle isn’t on site. The flag is also made from UV resistant fabric that also repels the large amount of dust and dirt that gets kicked up on a quarry or mine site.

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Personal Protective Equipment also plays a big part in the safety of workers in these kinds of environments. Trousers, jackets, vests and hats are made from fluorescent material to increase visibility. It’s often easier to see yellow fluorescent clothing as yellow has a stronger luminous power than orange, for example. This means that it is brighter to the eye from certain angles.

However, the reason some PPE is orange is because yellow doesn’t work well in a wintry landscape. Orange provides a far better contrast against a white snowy background. It has a lower luminosity than yellow but provides greater contrast against the white of a winter landscape. So, depending on the season and weather conditions, sometimes contrast is more important than luminosity.

 

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