Spotlight Feature Articles MINE SAFETY - Page 9

MINE SAFETY expected to carry out its first real-mine test in an underground operation in Australia in the near term. Don’t drop safety standards This year, Dropsafe, a leading global provider of dropped object prevention technology, announced a new exclusive partnership with Pacific Automation, an Australia-based distributor of industrial equipment to the mining, oil and gas, marine, power generation and construction industries. Dropsafe has been working with the Australia mining market for some time, but the Pacific Automation partnership enables the firm to meet growing regional demand and bolster its product and support services offering, it said. “There is increasing recognition across the industry that safety measures still need to be improved and mitigating the risks from dropped objects is a crucial factor in this,” the company said. Dropped object risks are not limited to Australia, with all regions needing to tackle a four-fold threat that consists of: n The risk of injury or fatality to personnel; n The risk of equipment damage; n The financial consequences of these incidents; and n The reputational consequences of failing to mitigate these risks. “A mining site is commonly characterised by heavy activity, wear and tear, corrosion and vibration,” the company said. “This creates an environment where dropped object risks are common.” These risks can be categorised into ‘static’ and ‘dynamic’ dropped objects. ‘Static’ dropped objects, such as overhead lights, aviation beacons, and CCTV cameras, can become loose and fall when the fixture or mounting brackets deteriorate over time, potentially causing injury or fatality. Risks posed by ‘dynamic’ dropped objects consist of tools and equipment being dropped by personnel from raised platforms and down shafts. Loose rocks falling from conveyor belts, or due to blasting, drilling or seismic activities, are also classed as dynamic dropped objects. To mitigate these risks, Dropsafe has designed and manufactured a range of prevention systems, including the ‘Dropsafe Net’ – stainless steel mesh-safety nets that enclose overhead fixtures – the ‘Dropsafe Pouch’ – stainless steel security pouches to tether handheld items when being used at height – and the high-tech polymer Dropsafe’s high-tech polymer ‘Dropsafe Barrier’ system is installed on guard railing as either a permanent or temporary solution to prevent dropped objects ‘Dropsafe Barrier’ system – installed on guard railing as either a permanent or temporary solution to prevent dropped objects. Dropsafe concluded: “By taking a long-term view of value, together with investing in robust dropped object mitigation technology from a supplier with a proven track record, companies can save money, protect their reputations and save lives. “A proactive approach is to address these risks during the installation or maintenance phases, by adding barriers to conveyer belts, nets to light fittings, and supplying personnel with pouches.” IM OCTOBER 2019 | International Mining