Risk Based Framework for Haul Vehicle and Light Vehicle Interaction Within Surface Mining Operations

PhD Thesis

Birkbeck, Samuel. 2021. Risk Based Framework for Haul Vehicle and Light Vehicle Interaction Within Surface Mining Operations. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/q7q9w

Risk Based Framework for Haul Vehicle and Light Vehicle Interaction Within Surface Mining Operations

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorBirkbeck, Samuel
1. FirstProf Ron Ayers
2. SecondDr Habib Alehossein
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages182
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/q7q9w

Mining is an important industry in the Australian economy. However, the mining industry had the 3rd highest fatality rate of all Australian industries. Collisions between light and haul vehicles are a significant contributor to the injury rate with fatal collisions occurring in 2008 in Western Australia and 2013 in New South Wales. Research into government databases from these regions has identified numerous reportable incidents because of light vehicle and haul vehicle interaction. With such a high rate of incidents and fatalities within the industry, the research sets out to develop and test a risk-based framework for mitigating vehicle interaction risk with the use of separated road networks.

A review of literature identified numerous road design guidelines for light vehicles through Austroads publications and mining specific haul road design guidelines. However, industry wide standards are not currently available for the design of haul vehicle and light vehicle interaction situations. Vehicle separation can be achieved with the use of physical delineation devices such as earth berms and the use of separate roads for the two vehicle types. This risk mitigation method requires a significant investment from mining companies and therefore a profit optimisation approach was incorporated into the risk-based framework.

The research tests a risk-based framework with the use of an existing mine. The framework examines the employer, societal and employee costs and benefits using discounted cash flow quantitative methods over a timeframe for an incident to statistically occur. Traffic modelling is utilised to determine the layout efficiencies through improved speeds and reduced vehicle density. Different scenarios were considered altering the framework inputs, including by increasing the mine size (Case Study 2), reducing the volumes of haul vehicle traffic (Cases Study 3), and reducing the volumes of light vehicle traffic (Case Study 4). All the case studies showed a financial benefit of a separated network if there was a high likelihood of a light vehicle- haul vehicle collision in the short to medium term.

Incidents between light vehicles and haul vehicles are prevalent in the mining industry however the number of fatal collisions has reduced over recent years due to technological improvements such as the use of vehicle detection systems. Current advances in technology, such as the use of autonomous vehicles, will have a role to play in improving safety, however such technological advances do not eliminate risk, and vehicle separation could also be an effective strategy to utilise if financially feasible.

KeywordsMining, Safety, Risk, Traffic Modelling, LV
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020400508. Infrastructure engineering and asset management
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Engineering
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