IMERYS Greece S.A. is a company that mines and processes industrial minerals in Milos, mainly bentonite and perlite. For the company, which belongs to the IMERYS Group, a world leader in industrial solutions based on minerals, prevention and proper training in Occupational Health and Safety matters are vital to avoid occupational accidents and chronic diseases. The reason is that in addition to providing information on correct work practices, it encourages employees to adopt safe work behaviours.
Mines are a constantly changing environment in which earthworks are carried out and extracting minerals using heavy equipment and transport trucks.
The Aggeria and Aspro Chorio mine complex in Milos is one of the largest bentonite mining centers in the world. Both are bentonite mines, this practically means that the ground is slippery when it comes into contact with water. For this reason, special care is needed when driving after it gets wet.
The factor that makes the mines of Milos special in terms of traffic management, is that there is in some of them simultaneous transit of non-cooperating vehicles with heavy vehicles especially in the summer months when there is tourist traffic on the island.
In this direction, it is crucial to create a traffic management plan so that the mine will be a safe environment for both the employees who work in it and for the visitors.
Part of the company's safety culture is traffic management at its facilities. Mine traffic management is a set of systems and programs to monitor, control and manage pedestrian, heavy vehicle, and light “civilian” vehicles traffic.
The traffic management team, after an in-depth analysis of vehicle traffic in the mines, created a list of potential interaction points between different types of vehicles and pedestrians and a risk assessment was carried out in each area. As a result was the creation of a map identifying the areas where there are dangerous interactions. The areas according to the risk were divided into High Risk, Medium Risk or Low Risk areas.
Α solutions guide was created for each mine separately with the aim of minimizing the risk. Each guide includes solutions such as marked routes for heavy vehicles and light vehicles, road markings, priority rules, care for access to areas designated as "dangerous", special parking areas for heavy vehicles and light vehicles, communication procedures for interaction between all of vehicles.
After the proposals made by the traffic management team, a map was created for every mine. These maps illustrate in a simple and precise way the routes and the important landmarks (parking area, pharmacy, observatory etc.) located in the mines.
In this way, someone can easily find his location on the map and obtain instructions on how to move safely within the quarry. The maps have been placed in central locations in each of the company’s facilities and are a pole of attraction for everyone entering the site and don’t know the proper and safe way to navigate the area.