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  • Writer's pictureExxovantage

Mining & Workplace Wearables

The High Cost of Powered Haulage Fatalities within the Mining Industry

In the mining industry, powered haulage accidents represent a significant risk to worker safety, financial stability, and the operational integrity of mining operations. While infrequent, these incidents come with substantial financial and emotional costs.

Economic and Emotional Impact of Fatalities

When a fatality occurs on a mining site due to powered haulage, the immediate financial implications can be staggering. Operations typically shut down, at least temporarily, to allow for investigations and safety assessments. This shutdown can cost between $2 million to $5 million per day. If the site remains closed for an extended period, such as five days, the lost revenue can exceed $10 million. Beyond these direct costs, companies also face significant expenses related to workers' compensation, which can amount to an additional $2 million to $5 million.

However, the costs extend beyond the financial. The emotional and psychological impact on a mining company's leadership and workforce is profound. Fatal accidents cause considerable trauma to those in leadership positions and profoundly affect team morale. The psychological aftershocks can lead to decreased productivity and a demoralised workforce, further exacerbating the financial losses.

Additionally, such incidents often trigger police investigations, resulting in legal consequences for leadership and even the driver involved, including potential jail time if found liable. These factors collectively underscore the severe repercussions of inadequate safety measures in mining operations involving heavy machinery.

Overview of 2023 Powered Haulage Fatalities

In 2023 alone, there were 11 fatalities attributed to powered haulage in the mining industry in the US. These incidents accounted for more than 25% of the total mining fatalities recorded for the year, highlighting a critical area of concern for industry safety regulators and mining companies alike.

Common Scenarios for Fatalities

Due to poor visibility in the Driver seat, many powered haulage fatalities happen in front of haul trucks, being caught behind & in front of end loaders and other surface equipment. These accidents often occur at low speeds, both in forward and reverse gears, suggesting that even minimal manoeuvres in tight spaces can be deadly without rigorous safety protocols and awareness.

The Role of Workplace Wearables in Reducing Power Haulage Fatalities

Enhancing Safety with Workplace Wearables and Monitoring Systems

Exxovantage can help with this issue by adopting our workplace wearables and advanced monitoring systems designed to prevent such accidents by increasing awareness and facilitating real-time communication between equipment operators and pedestrians.

Integration of Driver Box in Mining Vehicles

The driver box is equipped to alert operators with audio and visual signals whenever a pedestrian or another vehicle is detected nearby. This immediate feedback is crucial in high-noise environments where operators might not see pedestrians approaching.

The system has 2 programmable distances for Alerts, Caution and Danger. The Caution mode may indicate a pedestrian in the vicinity, while the Danger mode signals an immediate risk of collision, prompting the operator to take appropriate action to avoid an accident.

Workplace Wearable Devices for Pedestrians

In tandem with the driver box, pedestrians on the site are equipped with wearable devices that enhance their own situational awareness. These wearables vibrate constantly when the wearer comes close to a vehicle. This continuous physical alert serves as an effective indication they are approaching a potentially hazardous situation and to be more aware of their surroundings.

Impact and Benefits

The combination of the driver box and pedestrian wearables represents a comprehensive approach to safety, addressing the critical need for effective communication in environments where visibility and noise can significantly impair awareness. Here’s how these technologies can save lives:

  • Preventative Safety: These systems act as preventative measures by providing real time warnings to both the vehicle operator and the pedestrian or other vehicle, significantly reducing the likelihood of collisions.

  • Adaptability to Environment: The customisable features of the driver box allow it to be adapted to various operational conditions and specific risks associated with different mining sites.

  • Enhanced Awareness: This technology fosters a safer work environment by improving awareness between all parties involved, ensuring that both operators and pedestrians and other vehicles are constantly aware of each other’s presence.

Incorporating such innovative safety solutions in mining operations not only helps reduce the incidence of powered haulage accidents but also contributes to a culture of safety that prioritises human life above all. As mining companies continue to seek ways to improve safety standards, technologies like our workplace wearables and monitoring systems stand out as essential tools in the ongoing effort to safeguard workers.

Additional Monitoring and Risk Evaluation

Our Workplace Wearables don’t just monitor the relative position of people and vehicles on site; they provide a lot more helpful tracking and biometric data, including:

Lumbar Risk Scoring

  • Angle, Duration, and Count: Provides data on the bending and twisting motions of the lumbar region, including the angle, duration, and frequency of these movements to generate a risk score.

Forklift Driving

  • Vibration Detection and Duration Analysis: Monitors the vibration levels caused by forklift operations and calculates the duration, contributing to an overall driving score.

Repetitive Motion Alerts

  • Customisable Thresholds: This option sets specific thresholds for an employee or process, and alerts are issued when these parameters are exceeded.

Lone Worker Safety

  • Movement Detection and Emergency Alert: This feature detects periods of inactivity and enables emergency communication if a two-way button is pressed, ensuring lone worker safety.

Mobile Application

  • Data Accessibility: Allows users to easily access their safety data snapshot via onsite tablets or personal mobile devices, enhancing visibility and responsiveness.

Temperature Warnings

  • Extreme Conditions Monitoring: Detects extreme cold or hot conditions and initiates a timer to remind employees to take a break for safety.

Sound Warnings

  • Decibel Monitoring: To prevent hearing damage, sound levels are ensured to not exceed 40 dB for more than four hours in a single day.

Asset Exit Detection

  • Loss Prevention: Monitors high-value assets at facility exit points to prevent unauthorised removal or loss.

Real-Time Alerts

  • Coaching and Intervention: Provides the opportunity to initiate real-time coaching or intervention mechanisms to address immediate concerns or optimise performance.

Help/Assistance Button

  • Emergency Communication: Enables associates to press a button on their device to silently alert management to an emergency or need, facilitating prompt response.

Other Activity Metrics

  • Operational Efficiency Analysis: Tracks travel, wait, and work time metrics to better assess and improve operational efficiencies.

Powered haulage accidents in the mining industry pose significant risks, impacting both human lives and operational efficiency. By integrating Exxovantage's advanced workplace wearables, mining companies can significantly enhance safety measures. These devices offer real-time monitoring of potential hazards and biometric data, enabling immediate intervention. With features designed to prevent accidents and ensure employee well-being, Exxovantage’s solutions foster a safer, more productive mining environment. Contact Exxovantage today to learn more about how our technology can protect your workforce and optimise your operations.

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