Jon Noble – Health Safety and Training Manager, Glencore – Clermont Open Cut Mine
In February 2017 a Coal Mine Worker (CMW) was injured when a hydraulic hose fitting failed under pressure during the use of a hydraulic flow meter. The CMW was positioned inside the pump room and was undertaking the task of a hydraulic tune up. The task requires a calibrated flow meter to be installed in line with the main hydraulic pump system to read the hydraulic flow and pressure the machine is producing. The operator of the flow meter is required to manually adjust the flow meter by hand and watch the pressure and flows on the meter, making it impossible to be out of the line of fire. On the day of the incident a hydraulic fitting failed at the flow meter under 50bar of pressure and shot back contacting the maintainer in the knee luckily only causing minor bruising. During testing procedures the maximum pressure ranges up to 300bar.
The implementation of a data logging system that reduces the need to have a person inside the pump room during hydraulic testing. There are two pumps to each main pump. Each pump can now be “turned on” remotely via an electronic remote control. The first individual pump can be cycled and loaded through all curves required to satisfy testing and the change to test, then the second pump can be tested via the flick of a switch. Load to the pumps is applied proportionally through a remote control lever on the test box remote and the pump performance can be seen by the operator outside of the pump room. If adjustments need to be made to the pump regulators the pump is destroked to minimum flow and
to standby pressures using the remote control lever. Once the adjustments have been made the operator can once again remove themselves from the high pressure hose area inside the pump room and return outside and complete the tests again.
You may also like
- Roadside facing batter angle.
- Width at the top, if applicable, trapezoidal bunds.
- Distance to high-wall.
- Is an objective and quantitative process to monitor / audit bunds compliance to standard in real time.
- Cost and time efficient solution as to comply with inspectorate recommendations then survey would be required, incurring in extra cost to audit.
- Visibility across all active bunds and ranking of deficient sections to prioritise as per criticality.
- Full Auto-Stop Mode – 2 x Shuttle Cars (with a 3rd installation in progress)
- Warning only Mode – 1 x Underground Personnel Transporter, 2 x Underground Loaders (LHDs), 1 x Electric Vehicle, 1 x Moxy Articulated Truck
The ProblemThe rehabilitation of redundant Mine Service boreholes requires the shearing and removal of cemented 20” Steel casing at 1.5m below the ground surface. This process previously required the entry into the excavation and the risk associated with the manual handling of a hydraulic saw device to cut the casing at required position. During this cutting process the operators experienced several rotating blade failures that resulted in small shard of steel ejected from the saw blade and contacted the operator’s glove.
The SolutionThe strategy to eliminate the hazards identified from investigation of the event; it was actioned to source an alternative device with the capacity to efficiently shear 20” cement encased steel casing, eliminating manual handling, exposure to excavation; via the functionality of remote operation. The Diamond Wire Saw (DWS) device was identified, assessed and then progressed to primary design functional testing phase in December 2018. With positive observations of improved safety, efficiency and operational performance parameters. During the trial and testing period, this involved collaboration and engagement of DWS OEM and test operators. The collaboration of stakeholders delivered engineering inputs combined with the collation of test operator feedback facilitated continuous improvement of the DWS device’s re-purposed application into an integrated mobile unit.
The BenefitsThe field functional testing and operation of the DWS mobile unit demonstrated:
- Elimination – of traditional rotating blade failure hazard – Guarded Diamond impregnated cable
- Elimination – of manual handling – proximity protected – remotely controlled loader positions and retrieves DWS
- Elimination – CMW entry into excavation – DWS utilizes self-attachment / release function
- Elimination – of manual handling – proximity protected – remotely controlled loader secures the casing during cutting process and relocates to waste transport
- Separation – remote operator console – remove CMW exposure to line of fire
- Separation – remote operator console – remove CMW exposure to excavation
- Operational effectiveness performance realized an increase of 60% on previous methodology