September 25, 2017

How Technology is Changing Safety in the Mining Industry

Mining is definitely a risky business. There are all kinds of risks and dangers that have to be faced each and every day. But there are attempts being made to reduce the dangers involved in mining. Here’s how technology is changing the safety processes in the industry for the better.

Intelligent Injury Response

If someone on a mining site suffers an injury and there’s no one nearby, intelligent injury response systems can help. They work by offering diagnostic services to the injured person and taking pictures of the injuries that can then be sent back to the base. This is essential if emergency treatment is still on its way to the injured person. It can help the emergency team know what they will face and have to deal with when they eventually do reach the person with the injuries.

Proximity Warning Systems

Mining locations are often very busy, and there are usually trucks and vehicles moving around all the time. This can often lead to problems if people aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around them. This is where proximity warning systems can help. Civil mining and construction contractors use them to make sure that people are alerted if there is something coming their way. They simply allow people to be aware of their surroundings at all times, so accidents don’t occur.

Rescue Robotics

If the worst does happen and some of the miners get trapped in the event of an explosion or some other kind of catastrophe, they have to be rescued quickly. This is not always easy if the miners are in a spot that’s difficult to reach. But now mining companies can use rescue robots that can reach people who are trapped in dangerous locations. This makes the process of rescuing people in distress easier than ever before. The use of robots also means that human rescuers don’t have to put themselves at risk.

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Methane Sensors

When coal is mined, the process releases methane. The gas is odourless, invisible and highly flammable. It’s one of the most common causes of accidents in mines and has caused many deaths and injuries because of how violently it explodes. Thankfully, wireless methane sensors are helping to stop such occurrences now. The sensors can pick up methane and transmit the data back to a computer above ground, and the locations of miners can also be relayed. This helps to prevent potentially deadly situations arising.

Dust Monitoring
Underground workers have to be very careful about dust levels in the mining process. Too much dust creates all kinds of different problems for people. Firstly, the dust can be inhaled and cause lung problems. And it can also be flammable in some circumstances. Both of these problems need to be avoided if everyone is to be kept safe. Dust monitoring systems are used to test the amount of dust in the air and the problems it might present for people who are working in the environment. Monitors for personal use are also being developed.

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