Spotlight Feature Articles MINE SAFETY - Page 6

MINE SAFETY Komatsu and Strata both worked with the mining operation over the two-year period to ensure the relevant hazards were understood down’ and ‘stop’ information to be exchanged between the PDS and the OEM system,” he said. The next meeting on this ISO standard is and controlled, which has led to incremental improvements being made to the integrated system throughout the trial period. Strata’s Mullins said the system had been running in sections at the mine since the start of expected to take place in Brisbane, this month, but it is understood Strata and other PDS suppliers have already implemented and trialled this year, with 40-50 people equipped with HazardAvert Caplamps as of late-August. The mine has four production crews, with two of these crews currently using the vehicle-to- personnel PDS, he said. By the end of the year, Mullins expects all shuttle cars, personnel and continuous miners at the operation to be equipped with the technology. He then sees the mine moving towards vehicle-to-vehicle interaction, which involves adding proximity detection to LHDs at the mine, within the next 12-18 months. Vehicle-to-vehicle interaction would be a global first in underground coal mining environments, he said. This is not all for Strata Worldwide, with Mullins saying the company is currently working with other coal mining companies in Queensland on similar proximity detection projects. Michaud, meanwhile, said the HazardAvert system has recently been granted EAC certification to operate in Russia and the company was working with partners on integrating HazardAvert in an autonomous shuttle car in South Africa. On the latter, he said: “We will be adapting some of our interface for this autonomous installation. As opposed to today where we issue commands over the CANBUS to the OEM, we are looking at the moment to issue the command to the autonomous vehicle control engine. This autonomous vehicle control engine will take that input and control the machine.” Interoperability Many of the PDS providers on the board of EMESRT are also working hard to ensure there is an interface standard on OEM machines for them to integrate into on mine sites. As Newtrax, another provider of CAS, said: “One of the projects EMESRT has been charged with is developing an open-architecture industry communications standard for proximity detection and vehicle interaction. “In a 2015 workshop, the group of OEMs, proximity detection suppliers and mining companies discussed a common protocol for communications between PDS and OEM devices in the mining industry.” The CANBUS ISO 21815 standard is key to enabling this, according to Michaud. “This ISO 21815 CANBUS specification allows for the communication of a wide variety of ‘slow International Mining | OCTOBER 2019 the draft interface with several OEM and test systems. Real-time visibility Location awareness technology is also what nanotron Technologies specialises in and mining technology specialist Meglab recently agreed to incorporate this into its own Imagine platform, a modular, web-based mine management system that provides real-time visibility of the underground mine environment. nanotron’s swarmbee modules will enhance Imagine’s functionality by enabling users to efficiently track the location and status of mining equipment and workers, as well as any dangerous proximity to other vehicles or machines, according to nanotron. The company said: “By monitoring the location of workers, vehicles and machines in real time throughout the mine, Imagine facilitates smart ventilation automation, face has been granted with a Certificate of Approval by the Certification Body Global-Mark. At this stage, the certificate has been issued under the name of Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection’s Australian partner, BFI Fire Pty Ltd/Dafo Australia. Dafo has sold more than 100,000 fire suppression systems to manufacturers such as Volvo, Atlas Copco (now Epiroc), Caterpillar, Scania, Sandvik, Komatsu, MAN, John Deere and Ponsse, but has so far struggled to break into the Australia mobile equipment sector. Holger Pfriem, Business Manager, Asia and Australasia, Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection, said of the certification: “This is a big step for us to make more impact on the Australian heavy- duty mobile equipment market mainly within the areas of mining, cargo, construction, forestry, waste and agricultural handling equipment in a broader and more comprehensive perspective.” David Thurn, Managing Director of Dafo Australia, said the company was confident the AS 5062 certification will facilitate the expansion of its business in Australia and, as a second step, reports, lamp assignment, mine evacuation support, call for assistance and collision awareness. The result is a safer, better the company planned to soon launch a fluorine- free agent for fire protection. According to the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 76% of mine workers are exposed to hazardous noise, with manageable and more effective work environment.” Louis Valade, President of Meglab, said the the use of heavy equipment, rock drilling, blasting and a confined work environment some of the factors contributing to high levels of company chose nanotron’s location-awareness technology because it is lightweight, yet powerful, long range and autonomous. “It provides robust radio coverage in harsh exposure. Figures from the same organisation also state one in four mine workers has a hearing problem and four out of five have a hearing impairment by mining environments,” he said, adding that nanotron’s solutions can scale to the needs of any mining application. Each miner and piece of equipment being tracked by the nanotron solution is fitted with a small tag, which emits a wireless chirp signal at the time they reach their mid-60s. While these conditions are improving with the incorporation of new technology – think battery- electric machinery above and below ground – pre-set intervals. These signals are detected by other tags, which then forward them using a mesh network. When the signals reach the system’s central access points, the position of each tag is determined by measuring the TOF, ie the distance that a signal has travelled is calculated from its travel time. Fire and noise prevention Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection has its eyes on the Australia mobile equipment market with its SV-K fire suppression system after being awarded an AS 5062 certification by regulators in the country. The company said it has fulfilled the requirements of the Australian Standard AS 5062:2016 – Fire protection for mobile and transportable equipment for the system – and Simon Field, a technical specialist at 3M, thinks the company’s four-step approach can keep workers safe from noise damage. Detection The first step is to carry out a workplace assessment to determine whether there is a problem with hazardous noise to begin with, according to Field. “As a rule of thumb, if employees need to raise their voices when speaking to one another, or if the noise is otherwise intrusive, it is likely that sound levels are too high,” he said. In any areas in which this is the case, accurate noise measurements should be taken, either in-house by a competent person, or by a hired consultant.” These results can help determine which noise control methods to use, re-evaluate risk assessments and select appropriate hearing protection equipment (HPE).