Yancoal Gain Safe and Smart Access to Plant Equipment

dozer maintenance platform

Mining company Yancoal operate an open-cut site – Mount Thorley Warkworth.

On a site like this, machinery and plant equipment are always on the go. To maintain a profitable schedule, this equipment—subjected to sustained periods of operation and harsh environmental factors—runs for nearly the entire working day. Yancoal’s maintenance schedule, as a result, is almost as constant.

Yancoal utilise Caterpillar dozers, particularly the D11 model. To maintain these machines, access up to and over the engine bay is necessary. Being plant equipment, however, the D11 and other dozers are built for one job, and not necessarily with access on foot in mind – uneven and slippery surfaces during cleaning and maintenance present real dangers for fall accidents.

To keep the maintenance schedule going, and to protect maintenance workers, Yancoal looked to Australian work platform maker SafeSmart Access to come up with a solution. SafeSmart’s representatives took specifications and measurements of the D11, and custom-designed a hand-manoeuvrable platform and stair combination that was built in New Zealand, for delivery to the Hunter Valley location.

These dozer maintenance platforms are made from high-tensile welded aluminium for excellent weather resistance and strength, and are specified with a safe working load of 225kg – enough to accommodate the worker and their equipment at the same time.

The shape of the work platform allows technicians to wheel it up to the dozer very closely; it gives them the ability to reach right over the engine bay without dangerous overreaching, complete with railings for edge protection. The top half of the unit perfectly fits over the dozer’s tracks.

Stair treads feature a coarse slip-resistant pattern, so any fall risk from slipping on oil or coal dust is greatly reduced.

SafeSmart’s Alf Dartnall reflects on a very successful project.

“Yancoal is extremely happy with these units,” says Alf. “They have noticed a distinct reduction in maintenance-based downtime, as technicians are now scaling the machinery with a lot more confidence. It is saving the company many thousands of dollars every maintenance shift, and furthermore represents a great safety upgrade.”

Any dozer platform—for any make or model, from our custom plant—made by SafeSmart is compliant to safety regulations that relate to working at height in the location it is commissioned in. Yancoal’s product complies to AS1657 in Australia.

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