Spotlight Feature Articles MINE SAFETY - Page 3

MINE SAFETY infrastructure to determine underground location, which the company sees as a type of ‘underground GPS’ technology. Winkel said: “iRTT’s ability to be used for ‘underground GPS’ means it can provide teleremote positioning, measurements and document advance rates, which face machines such as continuous miners and drill rigs clearly benefit from." This approach is not only key for face machines; it also solves the challenge of getting specific location data underground, where GPS can’t be relied on. This georeference data is integral to graduating from simple proximity detection in order to safely stop the machine, without triggering false positives. Winkel gave some advice for those wanting to implement CAS ahead of the curve: “Don’t choose a PDS that is an isolated system. It needs to be connected with productivity tools, like from Talpa Solutions, that gather a host of data across the mine and analyse it to ultimately improve machine operation cycles.” Seeing where people are is good, but understanding and analysing the field operations and how people operate the machines is how CAS and iProximity will ultimately avoid human- machine fatalities – automatically and without negatively impacting productivity – he says. It’s estimated that, above ground, 65% of open-pit mining accidents are related to fatigue and distraction, with Hexagon Mining saying technology can help prevent many of these incidents from occurring in the first place. The company’s HxGN MineProtect CAS is used in 65 mines worldwide and provides 360° proximity detection at any speed and in all conditions via unobtrusive cabin display units, Hexagon says. “For operators of more than 35,000 mining vehicles worldwide, CAS represents peace of mind. CAS integrates with systems for operator alertness, personal protection, vehicle intervention and an analytics and reporting platform that gives mines 24/7 access to mine data for real-time decisions,” the company said. Canada’s Conuma Coal recently signed a three- year deal to protect its metallurgical coal mines in British Columbia with this safety solution, with the subscription package covering Conuma’s Brule, Willow Creek and Wolverine mines. These operations employ about 800 staff and have a fleet exceeding 180 pieces of equipment. Hexagon Mining President, Josh Weiss, said the agreement was a great example of how subscription licensing and an integrated portfolio package “adds flexibility while allowing mines to maximise safety”. Integral to the MineProtect portfolio is the newly expanded HxGN MineProtect Operator Alertness System (OAS). As well as protecting the drivers of heavy vehicles and operators of large equipment, OAS now covers light vehicles, ensuring operators of semi-trucks and buses are protected. This “non-intrusive alerting and reporting system” continuously scans operators for key metrics, such as eyelid closure, facial movements, cell phone use, and other distracting, risky behaviours, and also is effective on operators wearing glasses. Hexagon explained: “When unsafe behaviours are detected, OAS instantly alerts the operator with audible and tactile alarms. With an extensive range of detection points, OAS also informs employers of their operators’ fatigue levels and other dangerous situations. This ensures employers can address risky driving behaviour. This, in turn, helps reduce equipment downtime and expensive repairs, keeping the business running smoothly.” OAS fully integrates with a site’s Wi-Fi or cellular wireless network and a web platform continuously assesses in real time the fatigue risks of individual operators and the complete fleet, allowing intervention, if necessary, Hexagon said. Other alerts can be offered from general Hexagon’s MineProtect OAS is a “non-intrusive alerting and reporting system” that continuously scans operators for key metrics, such as eyelid closure, facial movements, cell phone use, and other distracting, risky behaviours purpose inputs/outputs and the system also provides visual alerts in case of tampering. Hexagon believes integrating its wide technology portfolio to deliver a holistic view of a mine can bring benefits for not just mine safety, but also productivity. “In fact, committing to a safety portfolio that integrates a CAS with fatigue monitoring, personal protection, tracking radar and vehicle intervention might be the smartest investment a mine can make,” the company concluded. South Africa’s Booyco Electronics is making the graduation indurad’s Winkel spoke of. Already a leader in PDS solutions – with more than 5,000 installations in the country – Booyco has added a VDS to its existing PDS portfolio to improve safety in both open-pit and underground mining applications. The new VDS triggers interventions to prevent vehicle-to-vehicle accidents in line with the latest EMESRT guidelines and is an evolution of the company’s vehicle-to-vehicle detection system, the company says. The system can measure the distance between the vehicles in a range from 10 m up to 100 m, with a measuring accuracy of 1 m, according to Booyco. The VDS not only determines the position of a vehicle but also the direction in which it is travelling, the company added. OCTOBER 2019 | International Mining