MINExpo INTERNATIONAL 2016, (taking place September 26-28, 2016, in Las Vegas) “provides attendees the opportunity to view technologies that will help them as they refine their management of safety,” says Bruce Watzman, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, National Mining Association (NMA).
Considered an exemplary health and safety management system, NMA’s CORESafety program assists mining operators in changing their philosophy of managing health and safety, and how to enhance the health and safety culture through their organization. Within the CORESafety modules are personal protective equipment, injury reduction, monitoring and control of dust and toxic substances, communications and tracking, and ground control—utilizing new and emerging technologies developed by mining, university, and supplier research and development. Attendees can learn more about CORESafety by visiting the NMA booth at the show.
Mining operators, industry suppliers and regulators are placing strong emphasis on communications and tracking, as well as proximity detection, particularly in underground coal mines. These will be among the many safety products, systems and training programs available at the show.
COMMUNICATIONS AND TRACKING
Effective wireless communications and tracking systems may mean the difference between life and death during an emergency in underground coal mining. Among the new technologies planned to be introduced at MINExpo is a wireless, battery-powered handheld device, which can be carried by miners anywhere in a coal mine, that will not only reveal an individual’s location, but also monitor harmful gases he or she may be breathing in that spot.
PROXIMITY DETECTION SYSTEMS
One manufacturer who will be at the show suggested proximity detection systems may the hottest topic in underground coal mining as coal operators and equipment manufacturers diligently work on improvements to proximity detection systems for mobile equipment, such as continuous mining machines, haulage vehicles, as well as other light or heavy vehicles. These systems use electronic sensors on both mining machines and miners to detect motion or the location of one object relative to another to protect miner safety and avoid collisions with mining equipment.
Proximity systems now can send data to the surface in real time, allowing for shift-over-shift analysis that may increase human operator efficiency.
A surface hardrock mine collision avoidance system utilizing GPS and ultra-wide band radio technology is now under development by a manufacturer attending MINExpo.