The NSW Regulator has drawn attention to potential arcing issues with continuous miner cables after an arc incident. According to the regulator, a damaged continuous miner cable arced when a worker picked it up to move it.
The continuous miner had previously tripped and the fault was reset. Upon repowering the miner and beginning the flit, an operator went to move the cable and there was an arcing event.
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Recommendations to industry
It is crucial that electrical engineers know, understand and maintain electrical protection settings.
Mines must have systems in place to complete inspections routinely as well as after any identified fault. Mine operators should also review their preventative maintenance schemes for electrical cables to identify defects that could lead to an arcing incident. The review should include:
- inspections for cable and sheathing damage
- lifecycle management (age of replacement) for cables.