Of all the technology developed over mining’s history for safety, and even more specifically the safety of workers performing tasks around heavy machinery on an everyday basis, one of the most recent is proximity detection systems. The still-rapidly evolving technology functions seamlessly in mines large or small, can be customized for any mine’s budget, and allows operations to focus on specific areas of concern.
While the systems are still non-compulsory for some of the world’s operations, the decision of which system is best is no less vital. US-headquartered Strata, knowing what a crucial role proximity detection plays in everyday mining, has developed and enhanced its HazardAvert® system for both coal and hard rock mines, underground and surface operations. The system promotes safer work practices, increased safety awareness, accident prevention and greater overall productivity.
Strata, founded in 1992, was first known for its secondary roof control technology, engineered to provide safer roof support. The company’s product portfolio has grown over the decades to include the best options in underground communication systems, emergency refuge alternatives and, of course, HazardAvert – one of the most popular and technologically advanced proximity system available to mines across the world.
HazardAvert is an electromagnetic system for recognising both equipment and individual personnel in the ‘red zone’ field of operating machine. For vehicles that move between the surface and underground operations, HazardAvert offers continuous coverage without the need for user interaction. In surface applications, the system includes front and rear cameras along with a graphical display screen located on the vehicle dash-board. The screen displays the camera views and a graphical representation of where other vehicles and/or pedestrians are located in relation to the vehicle. There are also differing audible alarms for warning and imminent danger alerts.
With vehicle-to-vehicle detection, all operators are warned of potential danger and with vehicle-to-pedestrian detection, both the vehicle operator and the pedestrian are warned simultaneously.
There’s no doubt that proximity detection technology has changed accident prevention for the better and, the more effective the system, the greater the benefit. The Strata HazardAvert system prevents collisions and accidents by alerting machine operators and pedestrians of imminent dangers and has the capability to interlock into machine controls for autonomous movement prevention and emergency braking. With close range, confined areas and machinery travelling in reverse all proven to have the highest rate of accidents; HazardAvert has been designed to excel in these environments.
In today’s data-driven industry, nearly every element of a mining operation can be analysed and studied to offer education to a mine on how things can be improved. A part of ensuring long-term mine safety is learning from mistakes, HazardAvert has the ability to record and store interaction data. This includes alarms triggered, the individual(s) or vehicle(s) triggering them and the duration of time spent in direct danger. On demand, the system can produce reports for download and analysis, which can assist in both enforcing safe practices and new and refresher personnel training, and the logged data can be transformed into reports for measuring productivity, analyzing equipment operating status and maintenance patterns and even incident reporting.
“Selecting a proximity detection and collision avoidance system for mining operations is an important decision,” according to Strata’s CEO, Mike Berube. “Operators want to know it will increase safety and remain robust long-term.”
Berube adds that, when mines are working more safely and more efficiently, they also begin to be more productive.
“In short, preventing accidents that create periods of downtime produces substantial savings. Costs for the HazardAvert system itself are quickly returned via greater uptime and activity, decreased insurance, legal and medical costs and less time and property lost. But most importantly, personnel safety is enhanced and highlighted.”
For even more information on Strata’s HazardAvert system or to talk to a product specialist, please visit our website at www.strataworldwide.com
Strata Worldwide is a leading global supplier of safety products, services and technologies for the mining communities. Its comprehensive line of products promotes greater safety across all types of mines and facilities, brings state-of-the-art solutions to customers and provides high-quality customer support throughout the business process.
Strata Worldwide Australia
Unit 1 /8 Channel Road
Mayfield West NSW 2304
Phone: +61 2 4960 9705
This article first appeared in the Summer Edition of Australasian Mine Safety Journal.
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