Improving Haul Road Safety with Water & Dust Optimisation

Haul roads are an integral part of the mine site, but issues associated with overwatering and dust control continue to place haul road safety under the spotlight. 

Poorly managed haul roads are one of the largest producers of dust on mine sites and have seen numerous operations cop heavy fines as a result.

However, combating this issue often leads to overwatering and an uncontrolled and unsafe environment for workers. Therefore, mine site operators are faced with a continuous struggle between balancing dust suppression and overwatering.

A number of fatal incidents that were brought on by uncontrolled movements on the haul road prompted calls by the NSW Department of Trade & Investment: Mine Safety for separate haul roads to be developed for light and heavy vehicles.

As well as haul road safety for workers’ interests, an increasing concern over environmental management in the area of water conservation has meant closer attention is also being paid to the effectiveness and efficiencies of dust control and water usage. 

Dust control & monitoring The New South Wales Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Dust Stop Program enforces new standards on dust control, aiming to achieve an 80% Dust Control Efficiency (DCE) on sites. New technology like Proof Engineers’ Proof Mobile Dust Monitor will provide instant clarity with a tool that monitors wheel-generated dust, one the largest contributors of fugitive dust on a mine site; ultimately providing real time dust level and road condition monitoring.

Water conservation & friction control – Providing an answer to how much water can safely be applied to a haul road is a protocol developed by RoadSafety Training Services. The protocol classifies mine haul roads using a Global Road Friction Risk Model that specifies a safe water application rate, expressed as mm/m2, so that a minimum level of grip in the road is maintained after watering.

Water truck efficiency – Incorporating a measureable water truck system can increase the capacity of water truck fleets by improving water truck efficiency.  Australian Diversified Engineering (ADE) is the first to develop a measurable water truck spray control system with ECO Spray Premium. This revolutionary system is the first water truck spray system that uses a defined input to achieve a measurable output, and allows operators to input a set rate expressed as mm/m2, the same format outputted from the Global Road Friction Risk Model

Total haul road optimisation – Utilising a combination of the Global Road Friction Risk Model, mobile dust monitoring technology and a measurable water truck spray control system such as ECO Spray Premium, haul road safety managers can remove the guesswork of the current operation methods – resulting in a safer haul road with less dust and a more efficient use of water.

The ability to manage and consistently apply the correct amount of water to a haul road can result in improved productivity and safety, reduced maintenance and significant savings to companies.

For more information on haul road optimisation solutions, visit www.haulroads.com.au

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