OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 581 Air brakes

Basic design features and performance criteria have been set to achieve the degree of safety required in air and air-over-hydraulic braking systems.

Section 581(a)

In case of a sudden air pressure drop, this section requires that available air in the main braking reservoir be used only for braking and that it be protected from loss of pressure resulting from demand by auxiliary accessories. The auxiliary demand may be greater than the air system’s ability to replenish itself.

Section 581(b)

The minimum volume of available air in the main circuit must be not less than 12 times the full volume displaced by the brake actuators. This allows reliable operation of the actuators and maintains a degree of uniformity in the volume and pressure of the air system for safe and effective brake operation.

Section 581(c)

The purpose of the water ejection or air-drying system is to remove moisture from the air. Moisture in the system can cause brakes to malfunction. Dry air helps prevent the problem of moisture freezing which could render the system inoperable.

Section 581(d)

The availability of visual indicators such as pressure gauges allows the operator to safely operate mining equipment. A decrease in air pressure warns the operator of a brake problem and allows the operator to take necessary safety measures.

Section 581(e)

An audible or visual alarm informs the operator when available air pressure falls below the permissible operational braking pressure range. The warning should provide the operator with enough time to safely stop the equipment.

Section 581(f)

The presence of check valves ensures reservoir air is not lost by leaking through a defective tube on the supply side. With the help of the air left in the reservoir, the operator can safely stop the equipment.