Tag Archives: proximity detection

EMESRT Level 9 - Intervention Controls for Collision Avoidance

EMESRT Level 9 – Intervention Controls for Collision Avoidance

EMESRT Level 9 - Intervention Controls for Collision Avoidance

EMESRT Level 9 - Intervention Controls for Collision Avoidance

In February 2015, the government of South Africa made unprecedented news when it amended the Mine Health and Safety Act, placing regulations related to mine machinery and equipment.

From 2004‐2009, 35% of fatalities at mine sites were due to vehicle interaction incidents and 53% of these involved pedestrians. In response to this data, South Africa’s amendment to their policies required employers to take reasonable and practicable measures ensuring pedestrians are prevented from injury from collisions with trackless mobile machines.

Despite South Africa’s response to the need for safer mines, the discussion to improve safety in mines began nearly a decade earlier between mine operators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Mining companies recognized that OEMs can and have demonstrated improvements in equipment designs, especially when they have understood the operational and maintenance risks from the customer perspective. In 2005, this issue evolved into a formal global mining initiative, driven by a desire to fill the knowledge gap between customers and equipment designers whilst focusing on new designs where the opportunity for major change was not only possible but also more economic.

At that point, the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) was created. This initiative has led to productive dialogue and best practices based on the needs of both mining organizations and OEMs. Members include many of the world’s top mining companies, including Barrick, Glencore, Anglo American, and Rio Tinto.

And now Newtrax, the leading provider of IoT safety and proximity detection solutions for hard rock underground mining operations, is happy to continue collaborative dialogue and protocols as a key stakeholder of EMESRT.

EMERST L9 vehicle collision avoidance

EMESRT Vehicle Interaction Protocol Development

One of the projects EMESRT has been charged with is developing an open-architecture industry communications standard for proximity detection and vehicle interaction. In a 2015 workshop, the group of OEMs, proximity detection suppliers (PDS) and mining companies discussed a common protocol for communications between PDS and OEM devices in the mining industry.

Since its formation, EMESRT has established nine levels of Incident Preventative Controls.

  1. Site Requirements
  2. Segregation Controls
  3. Operating Procedures
  4. Authority to Operate
  5. Fitness to Operate
  6. Operating Compliance
  7. Operator Awareness
  8. Advisory Controls
  9. Intervention Controls

The ninth level (L9) of PDS solutions is the performance requirement best suited for Newtrax involvement in the group. L9 will help establish technologies that automatically intervene and take some form of machine control to prevent or mitigate an unsafe interaction.

According to a 2015 report from EMESRT, there are some levels of solutions for electric underground vehicles. Underground diesel machines have continued to lack interoperability. In fact, the development of proximity detection systems linked to the machine’s interface has been unique for each machine. This leaves a number of different challenges for operating mines. On any mine, there will never be only one brand/type of equipment. Hence the interoperability of the multiple relationships between the levels of sensing and intelligence/rules and the different vehicles is essential to achieve an overall mine site solution for the industry.

Goldcorp Eleonore

Innovating for Safety at Goldcorp’s Éléonore mine, with Newtrax Technologies

Innovating for Safety at Goldcorp’s Éléonore mine, with Newtrax Technologies

Goldcorp Eleonore

In the spring of 2017, Goldcorp’s Éléonore mine was recognized for its outstanding safety record in the 2016 calendar year with the John T. Ryan National Safety Trophy for Metal Mines. The award is in recognition of the mine which achieved 2,592,938 hours worked during the year, with a reportable injury rate of 0.15. This was the best among Metal Mines in Canada. The operation also earned Regional Safety Awards for Metal Mines in 2015 and 2014.

The awards were sponsored by MSA Canada Inc., a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products, and the John T. Ryan National Safety Trophy Committee.

So management of the Éléonore mine set out to do even better in 2017 in regards to safety. In fact, the safety benchmarks established by the operations leadership were seen as aggressive and hard to achieve.

How do you take one of the safest mines in the world and make it even safer?

With the assistance of Éléonore’s Technical Service Manager, Gertjan Bekkers, Goldcorp looked to proximity detection innovations for their underground workforce and mobile fleet.

“Because Éléonore was so set up for innovation, particularly because of the connectivity in the underground, there were a lot more opportunities to implement technology,” Bekkers says. “We wanted proximity detection because we know that the interaction between the large equipment underground and the humans is a significant risk factor for these operations.”

Through a thorough product search with a number of vendors, Goldcorp and the leadership of the Éléonore mine decided to partner with Newtrax Technologies, a leading safety technology provider specializing in underground hard rock mining operations.

The project consisted of a mine-wide implementation of 660 new fully-integrated Newtrax-Enabled Personal Safety Devices to be worn by the mine’s workers, which can reach up to 150 people underground at any given time.

In addition, proximity detection technology was also installed into the mine’s mobile equipment. With both systems installed, operators of large equipment are constantly notified when people and smaller equipment are in their proximity.

The Éléonore safety system works directly between the workers’ cap lamps and the equipment that is set up with the proximity detection system. The system works independently from the underground communication network, assuring its functionality in all areas of the mine. Goldcorp workers in the mine can be comfortable knowing that no matter where they are in the mine, there will be connectivity between them, their cap lamp and any machine in the surrounding area.

in 2017, Éléonore improved its safety performance and in doing so, raised the standard once again. Bekkers admits that a wide range of efforts went into achieving those numbers and establishing a strong safety culture amongst the workforce, but the Newtrax proximity detection system certainly played a part.

Continuing the Innovation Journey

The proximity detection system implemented at Éléonore mine is only one example of Goldcorp’s innovation strategy that is disrupting all areas of its business.

Now their mines are built on digital platforms supported by fiber optic backbones and Wi-Fi. They have large volumes of data flowing in, and getting that data digitized and working for them is a big effort but significantly improves health and safety performance and can increase productivity.

When discussing innovation in the industry, Bekkers says “I think the industry is open to innovation. The industry wants it. It’s largely spurred by the fact that the world around us is changing and the world underground is not changing half as fast.”

Newtrax Celebrates Safety at Fresnillo PLC in Mexico

Newtrax Celebrates Safety at Fresnillo PLC mines in Mexico with Friends and Family

safety mining fresnillo

Celebrating Safety

The Newtrax team in Mexico celebrated Safety at the Fresnillo PLC mines this week in a gathering of friends and families of underground workers.

Miners’ children attended the event where they were exposed to some of the equipment and technologies that ensure that their parents come home safe from work every day.

Newtrax showcased its flagship Proximity Warning system to the friends and families of the miners, and explained to them how it can prevent accidents from happening and ensures greater visibility of pedestrians underground.

Children wore the Personal Safety Devices on their helmets and tested out the features to better understand what keeps their parents and loved ones safe underground.

Health & Safety is Newtrax’s number 1 core value and events like these remind us of how valuable our jobs are to other people’s lives.

For more information on our underground Safety solutions please reach out to us at info@newtrax and we will gladly walk you through some case studies.