Goonawardene/Crosby – Strata Monitoring with 3D Laser Scanner in an Underground Coal Mine
Geology Geotechnical Superintendent
Surrey Superintendent, Anglo American Grosvenor Mine
The risk of fatalities due to roof and rib failures is still prevalent in underground coal mines which highlights the fundamental importance of monitoring roof and ribs in underground roadways.
Monitoring strata deformation and convergence in underground roadways is a key metric for measuring instability of excavations. Visual inspections, tell tales, extensometers and instrumented bolts are some of the methods used to quantify strata deformation.
The significant limitations of the current methods only provide a point-measurement along the roadway. Using laser technology allows the mine to scan and measure large regions of roof and ribs across continuous regions with millimetre accuracy.
The Maptek SR3 laser scanner has been used as a control during the rib optimisation trial at Grosvenor. This technology provides a baseline scan and subsequent scans to ascertain the extent of deformation throughout the active development mining areas. Thus, allowing geotechnical engineers to assess the adequacy of the trialled support system. Moreover, this technology allows geotechnical engineers to better analyse geological anomalies (fault orientations, dips, throw), bolting tolerances and excavation dimensions in an effective manner.
Haylock – Workforce Education and Training Cut–Through
Director, Green Ticket
All mine sites have two things in common—workers and risks. Their workforce, the company’s biggest asset, need to be trained efficiently and effectively on hazards’, risks’ and incidents’ management. Mine site workers handle highstakes machinery and dangerous substances in high-risk settings. The success of risk procedures for a company depends on how well workers understand, accept, and implement these procedures. Without appropriate knowledge and specific tools workers are at high risk of impacting their safety and health, while also undoing corporate compliance measures implemented by management. To mitigate this, we need cost-effective and time-efficient tools. We need targeted, pertinent, specialised training.
This raises questions about what tools contractors need to do the job and how these tools can effectively and efficiently be created and delivered.
Questions to address:
What is the decision-making process undertaken to create a targeted, pertinent, specialised training program?
What is the problem?
Who is at risk?
What are the regulations?
Who is the target?
What are the methods of delivery and desirable frequency?
What are the workers’ levels of literacy?
And most importantly, what decision-making processes help to answer these questions and get cut-through to the workers?
Legge – Are Exoskeletons the Musculoskeletal PPE of the Future?
Dr. Jenny Legge
Managing Director, JobFit Systems International
Exoskeletons, or wearable robotics, are appearing in scientific journals, industry publications, the media, and even in some workplaces as a potential ‘solution’ for workplace musculoskeletal injury prevention.
This presentation will outline the different types of exoskeletons currently available and their intended uses, including how they can potentially reduce the load on specific muscle groups to minimise fatigue and subsequent injury. However, there are also several documented risks associated with their use in industry. A review of the current evidence base will be presented.
Acceptance of exoskeletons across industries and different work types has been variable and is still in relatively early stages of development and implementation. Mining is often seen at the forefront of safety innovation and can be early adopters of new technologies and processes. Could ‘Exos’ be the next big thing for our industry?
To assist potential users and purchasers to make informed decisions before trial or purchase of such devices, a checklist for independent evaluation will be presented. This takeaway resource will also outline a number of ‘toolspecific’ risk factors to be considered in any onsite formal pre-use / pre-purchase risk assessment for the mining environment.
Mackay – Digitalisation: Information at Our Employees’ Fingertips
Operations Scheduler, Anglo American-Moranbah North Mine
Anglo American has introduced Australia’s first certified, electronic tablet device for use in underground coal mines. The device provides real-time access to CITECT data for Hazard Awareness and system monitoring, as well as Anglo American’s latest Safety and Health Management processes and documentation.
Developed in collaboration with a tablet manufacturer, the device was developed and tested to achieve International Group 1 Certification together with Queensland Government’s SIMTARS safety in mines certification.
The underground tablet can be used as a portable video communication device (via Skype) to instantly access expert technical advice. Not only does this accelerate operational fault-finding, it also allows a live video link to paramedics in the case of an emergency.
The tablet allows real-time environmental monitoring; provides up-to-date equipment resetting requirements; displays risk-categorised Strata Defect locations pictorially on the Mine Plan; and allows short interval control on the actual plan.
The introduction of the tablet is a major step towards the removal of all underground paperwork and the electronic lodgement of statutory and production reports.
Peirce – Automation: New Technology Protects Personnel
Exploration Superintendent; NBB Geosciences, Anglo American
Exploration activities within Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal Business Unit occur across all its mine sites and exploration tenure. Drilling is manually intensive and highly repetitive. The use of automated drill rigs reduces manual handling and removes personnel from potentially hazardous zones.
Analyses of drilling-related incidents since 2016, highlighted the need to move towards an automated drilling solution. Several manufacturers are involved in drill rig automation and in 2018, in conjunction with drilling contractor, Gas Field Services, Anglo American introduced a completely hands-free drill rig constructed by Boart Longyear.
The Boart Longyear drill rig and associated rod loader, called a Freedom Loader is engineered to eliminate manual handling of drill rods during the drilling process and locates the driller away from the rotating drill rods at the drillhole. The rig has a tilting top drive head which simplifies rod handling through in-built tools and added functionality. Additionally, clamping devices maintain constant pressure on the rods, reducing the likelihood of dropped rods, a further hazard in working around drill rigs.
The introduction of the rig is a major step towards the removing personnel from high risk environments and the reduction of repetitive, fatigue inducing manual handling tasks.
Worland/Collins/Forsyth – Fail-Safe Compressed Air Cleaning
Dr Dave Collins and James Forsyth
Synergetics Consulting Engineers
Use of compressed air to clean electrical equipment is a routine maintenance task in heavy mining equipment (HME) across the Queensland Mining Industry. During cleaning elevated levels of harmful dust can engulf the compressed air cleaning operator for extended periods and increase the risk of developing lung diseases including pneumoconiosis and silicosis.
In 2017 the Queensland Mines Inspectorate (Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, 2018) reported that approximately 50% of all respirable dust and Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) exceedances in surface coal mines were directly related to the use of compressed air for compressed air cleaning of equipment prior to maintenance.
Respiratory protection has historically been viewed as the primary control to protect the health of compressed air cleaning operators, as higher order controls such as engineering controls have not been considered feasible.
The principal of applying engineering controls for compressed air cleaning of haul truck electrical cabinets was reported and demonstrated at the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference in 2018 (Worland, Stream, Brett and Collins). Here the electrical cabinets were converted into full enclosures under negative pressure resulting in a physical barrier between the worker and the dust generating compressed air cleaning task.
This paper describes the further development and field testing of engineering controls over the intervening 12 months. Safe compressed air cleaning has now been demonstrated for a broad range of HME including trucks, excavators, dragline MG sets and stationary equipment. The controls incorporate continuous monitoring of airborne particulate with feedback systems to shutdown compressed air and demonstrate that safe compressed air cleaning is achievable.