New electronic solution to improve Workplace Health & Safety is out of this world

The mining industry in Australia has a fatality rate of nearly three fatalities per 100,000 workers – the fifth highest of all Australian industries[1], so while existing safety measures are helping to improve safety at mines, there is still plenty of work to be done.

According to the Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2013 Report from SafeWork Australia, vehicle collision has been responsible for 40 per cent of worker fatalities in Australia over the past 11 years. While safety outcomes have clearly improved over the years, in 2013 alone, 65 workers died from vehicle collisions, while 21 workers were killed when hit by a moving object.[2]

In all, mobile plant and transport accounted for 62 per cent of fatalities over the 2003–13 periods. Machinery and fixed plant accounted for 11 per cent of worker fatalities over the 11 years and 13 per cent of fatalities in 2013.[3]

In Australia, mining operators currently use a wide variety of measures to monitor and avoid collisions. However, these are predominantly administrative / training controls, involving safe work procedures, "no go zones" and near miss reporting.

HazardAvert uses space technology from NASA to take the guesswork out of collision avoidance and reporting. At the heart of the system are low frequency magnetic fields from NASA’s space exploration program, which Strata Australia now uses for mining applications.

These low frequency magnetic fields create invisible perimeters around operating machinery, whose shape and size can be programmed during the installation of the system.

With the fields in place, HazardAvert can electronically detect when a person enters a pre-programmed area around operating machinery, and thus issue audible and visual warnings, or even trigger hard controls to slow or stop the operation of machinery to prevent accidents and injuries.

Because of the nature of its core technology, HazardAvert can be reliably used in underground and surface mines, with both coalmines and other parts of industry. Strata Australia customises each HazardAvert installation to fit the exact needs of the application and site.

HazardAvert features & benefits:

Benefit 1: Improved safety

By combining the reliable detection with the option to trigger hard controls to slow or stop machinery when a worker is detected in the danger zone, HazardAvert allows mine sites to create foolproof collision avoidance systems.

Benefit 2: Highly customisable, versatile, and scalable

The HazardAvert system also allows the creation of “silent zones”, so machine operators equipped with a PAD can sit in the operator’s compartment or work in specified areas without activating the alarm or disabling the machine. For sites that prefer gradual implementations, the system can be installed in stages, starting with a HazardAvert Proximity Ready Kit, which allows underground coalmines to lay the groundwork for proximity detection, ensuring a quick, final installation at a later date.

Benefit 3: Improved reporting

By picking up on all vehicle and personnel interactions, HazardAvert provides a much more detailed picture of collisions and near misses on a mine-site allowing mine operators to identify black spots or weaknesses on their sites, and take preventive measures to improve safety. They can also have a clearer picture of any collision incidents, and even use the data to improve productivity.

Proven safety and fast setup

HazardAvert is fully-approved to IECex requirements to comply with Australian mine standards, and the system is suited to underground and surface coal and hard rock mining, being particularly useful in underground mines where GPS can not be used.

For more information about HazardAvert, contact Strata Australia at http://www.strataworldwide.com/electronic-safety/hazardavert-proximity or call +61 (02) 4960-9705.

Click here to download Strata Australia's free whitepaper.

[1] p 18, SafeWork Australia, Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia, 2013. http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/870/Traumatic-Injury-Fatalities-Report-2013.pdf
[2] p vii, SafeWork Australia, Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia, 2013. http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/870/Traumatic-Injury-Fatalities-Report-2013.pdf
[3] p 8, SafeWork Australia, Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia, 2013. http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/870/Traumatic-Injury-Fatalities-Report-2013.pdf

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.