But despite stringent Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulations, safety hazards are inevitable in mines, where geological unpredictabilities, equipment faults, and rule flouting are common challenges.
Key fact: The mining industry employs 1% of the global workforce but is responsible for 8% of fatal accidents
To achieve zero harm targets, companies must implement a range of technologies that minimise safety hazards, from portable gas detection devices and sensors for PPE detection, to systems that ensure vehicle-worker collision protection.
For process safety management, digital twin technology improves accident prevention by automating machines, assessing potential risks, and conducting virtual safety training. Meanwhile, ultrasonic technology can immediately detect equipment faults, equalling better hazard prevention and lower operating expenses (OPEX).
Fall detection technology is crucial in minimising slip, trip, and fall (STF) hazards. This technology is becoming increasingly smartphone-based, so that workers can keep it on them at all times.
Key fact: 22% of all non-fatal injuries between 2014-18 were STF incidents
Digital innovation also benefits underground mining safety, such as with geofencing, a hazard prevention method that issues proximity warnings when virtual boundaries are crossed, ensuring safety zone compliance.
Increases operational efficiency
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