Cranes are an under-appreciated machine on the mine site, despite the integral role they play.
From heavy booms through to smaller telehandlers, they lift and move all loads on site.
Telehandlers in particular have even been seeing use in underground coal mines as their abilities have become more apparent.
It's no surprise considering how widespread their usage is right across the mine site as well as construction and civil industries.
Despite this, there has never been a telehandler association focused on the safe usage of the machinery.
Manitou is taking a leading role in the development of the Telescopic Handler Association of Australia (THAA), a division of the Elevating Work Platform Association of Australia (EWPAA); the first such group in the world.
Stuart Walker, managing director of Manitou Australia, was appointed as the group's first president.
"With the use of telescopic handlers in the Australia and Pacific Region gaining acceptance it was clear to us that an industry body was required to act as a conduit for information regarding the benefits and safe use of telehandlers for industry, users, government regulators and other stakeholders," Walker stated.
He explained the THAA's focus was to gain recognition and inform the Australian mining industry in the use of telehandlers.
"With such a versatile tool (as telehandlers) people must be educated in its safe and efficient use as well as ensure the industry monitors the high safety standards we've already set in Australia."
Walker said Manitou have been working for a number of years to educate operators of their obligations under Australian Standards AS1418.19 and AS2550.19, especially as Australia has some specific requirements within its standards, in particular when handling suspended loads.
"This has never been more relevant than today due to the increasing number of grey imports from less regulated countries," he added.
Walker said that since 1998 the company has been pushing for a standarised position between the country's various states and territories when classifying telehandlers.
"Today we are almost there and no doubt the THAA will be a valuable voice and industry body in helping manufacturers get this message across."