Technological advancements in terms of early warning systems for the mining industry are therefore worthy to celebrate, and modular communication systems have been making the news for enabling various hazard reporting applications specifically designed for rugged mining conditions.

Modular Communication Systems

Recent developments in Ethernet technology have made it possible to implement underground wireless networks even in deep mine systems – making real-time communication throughout mine shafts a reality. Ethernet technologies designed for mining applications seamlessly integrate various modular applications, assigning appropriate workflows to each report to create tailor-made early warning systems for each unique environment. Two noteworthy applications that are worth mentioning for their simplicity yet significant contributions to risk reduction are mobile hazard report applications and Real-time location monitoring applications.

Mobile hazard reporting applications

Handheld communication devices have become the easiest way to collect risk and hazard data while onsite. Specialized mobile applications automates the process of reporting risks and ensures appropriate processing. Several features of mobile reporting applications make it stand out far above traditional paper based reporting systems:

  • The user interface and mobile device used for reporting applications are similar to those that mobile phone users are already familiar with
  • Camera equipment enable photo reporting
  • GPS location data is automatically imported into reports
  • Reporting application automatically imports personal, date and time information
  • Reports are relayed to server instantaneously
  • Workflows are assigned automatically
  • Workflow process tracks response and monitors outcome

Australian manufacturer of the Take5 applications points out that mobile reporting does not only aid safety managers in attaining their goals, but also saves operations time and money to improve productivity.

Real-time location monitoring of workers

With technology that enables WiFi communication in underground zones currently deployed in deep mining systems across the world, location monitoring of workers is being deployed to aid in improving speed and efficiency of rescue operations as well as for the prevention of hazardous incidents.

modular mining applications for safety

Tag controllers positioned in various network zones monitor the location of miners by tracking their individual location monitoring tags. Time and date stamped information is then logged with the master controller which reports the information via a web interface for on demand searches or can be automatically delivered when specific high risk events have taken place.

The contribution of automatic reporting to hazard prevention is huge, especially in mining systems with high risk zones. By customizing reports to highlight zone movements beyond regulated work areas and delivering the information to the appropriate personnel in real-time, it is possible to intervene immediately to prevent fatal consequences for individuals.

Efficiency of early warning systems

Early warning systems are only as effective as the modus of communication that ensures immediate reporting, processing and appropriate response. The availability of a stable wireless network that enables real-time data communication across the operation is therefore an essential part to efficient early warning systems.

Would you like to know more about modular mining applications for improved safety? Get your FREE copy of our ‘Mine Safety 101’ eBook now by clicking on the image below.

Underground Mine Safety