Safety equipment such as mine safety lamps and personal self-rescuer emergency breathing equipment is normally stored and maintained in, and issued from and returned to, the lamp room. In the modern mining industry it is common knowledge that the lamp room has become much more than a provision base for equipment. Its scope has now evolved in such a way that maximising the lamp room’s potential for safety management has become a key component of the mine’s Health and Safety strategy. Therefore legal compliance and on-going improvement of systems is crucial to ensure operational success.
Safety Standards of a Lamp Room
In a larger mine the functions of maintaining and issuing equipment stored in the lamp room are likely to be assigned to specifically trained and appointed lamp room attendants, but in smaller mines they may be part of the duties of a supervisor or other mine worker. A mine operation needs a competent management team ensuring that its lamp room standards are maintained at the highest level, thereby minimizing risk, and allowing the company to focus on it’s primary goal, mining. The Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC) is concerned with the activities carried out in the lamp room and prescribes standards for these operations.
In terms of performance criteria, a lamp room attendant should be able to:
1. Ensure safety equipment is issued and returned according to organisational procedures
2. Carry out checks on safety equipment
3. Segregate checked equipment according to condition for:
- immediate re-use
- routine maintenance or calibration at the mine
- significant repair or calibration requiring specialist technicians
4. Carry out cleaning and routine maintenance on safety equipment
5. Maintain records of safety equipment according to organisational procedures
Regarding the lamp room attendant’s knowledge and understanding, he or she should have a clear grasp on:
- Why safety equipment is required
- The organisational procedures for the issue, return and maintenance of safety equipment
- The organisational reporting and recording arrangements for safety equipment
- The checks to be completed on each item of safety equipment before issue and on return after use
- How to determine whether the condition of safety equipment justifies immediate re-use, cleaning, routine maintenance, repair, calibration, or scrapping
- How to clean and repair safety equipment
- The hazards and risks associated with the handling, storage, cleaning, maintenance, and repair of safety equipment
- The limits of his or her own personal authority
The National Certificate: Lamp room Operations
Effective training of employees will reduce the potential weak link silently embedded inside the so called human factor. A & R Engineering presents a National Certificate in Lamp Room Operations that provides qualifying learners with the necessary skills, understanding and technical knowledge to competently perform the duties and responsibilities required in the lamp room. The lamp room attendant’s technical support is vital to the smooth running of the operation. Training covers a wide variety of fields such as portable mine lighting and associated equipment, gas detection instruments and associated equipment, self contained self rescuers, mine specific associated equipment, as well as hazard identification and risk assessment in the lamp room environment.
“Learners achieving this qualification will be able to understand the role and apply required competencies consistently and effectively in the execution of duties. They will contribute to the mining operation and discipline by effectively adhering to quality and occupational safety requirements.”
This qualification will upgrade the Occupational health and safety standards in the mining environment through input into hazard identification programmes. Learners credited with this qualification will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental standards in the workplace
- Perform lamp room procedures and maintain equipment in a mining environment
- Manage activities in a lamp room in the mining environment
- Select and use lamp room equipment and tools
- Perform basic maintenance on portable mine lighting equipment and gas detection instruments
- Plan and execute mine health and safety programmes efficiently
The National Certificate in Lamp Room Operations ensures that learners will put into practice a comprehensive mining workers programme in a designated lamp room by effectively communicating rules and regulations as required by mining operating procedures. The qualifying learner will hereby be enabled to effectively function as a member of a multi-disciplinary team. The training also covers communication skills, basic maintenance and the conducting of statutory reporting.
A mine operation should be well aware of quality standards that govern operations in the lamp room. An investment in training and awareness of quality standards will always be an investment in the quality future of the lives of your employees. Finally, Profitek’s Minelert lamp room system enables even better efficiency by monitoring underground workers as they enter and exit the lamp room making it easier for management to ensure that shafts are clear at the end of a shift or when specific shafts are being cleared for explosion work. Products such as these, together with a well-trained lamp room attendant, is a winning combination in safety management.