Smart Equipment to Enable Hands-Free Mining in the Future

Mining companies turn to wearables for safety & productivity.

With increasing pressure faced by the mining companies, the mining industry is turning to digital solutions, especially wearable technology to improve the productivity and safety for mine employees.

For mine operators, mining safety is a huge concern. More and more mining companies are adopting tools that can help to improve the safety of their staff.

Read more Construction Safety: Wearables Could Monitor Stress, Risk and Physical Demands

Modern, smart helmets represent a hands-free way for miners to improve the way in which they work.

The mining team can be benefited by utilizing sensors that alert managers to the early warning signs of heat exhaustion, rising gas levels or even seismic activity, which may altogether prevent a catastrophe, reports African Petrochemicals.

There are other exciting innovations that goes beyond safety helmets. A mine workers body suit may employ haptic technology, connected locally through beacons to other equipment in the mine. This can give miners a very tangible warning of potential collisions or accidents as early as possible.

The global mineral exploration company Boart Longyear uses wearable technology to improve miners’ safety and productivity.

With a remote control feature that provides 100 per cent hands-free rod handling, an innovative system from Boart Longyear offers a hands-on approach to driller safety.

To meet the increased safety requirements, Boart Longyear has engineered a fully hands-free drilling solution with its most popular surface coring rig the LF90D. The rig is currently being used in the mining markets in North America, Africa and Asia.

With help from other teams, the company has retrofitted a number of rigs with this hands-free solution.

Read more Wearables with IoT Connected Sensors Helping to Improve Worker Safety

The LF90D utilizes a hollow-spindle drill head, making it challenging for rod handling. The rig was retrofitted with a tilting head mechanism and a customized FL262 Freedom Loader. The company stated that it now offers a completely hands-free rod-handling solution for the fleet of LF90D rigs.

“This is a significant safety enhancement for our clients and our drillers, as it removes the driller from multiple hazards associated with suspended loads and manually handling drilling rods,” said James Chalmers, vice-president of environment, health, safety and training at Bort Longyear.

“The new hands-free solution prevents back injuries, strains, pulls and hand injuries. This is another example of our commitment to provide healthier and safer work sites for both our clients and our employees.”

Sam Draper
November 1, 2018

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