Underground » Health and Safety
One of the major hazards in an underground coal mine is the interaction between mining equipment and humans. This is the result of limited vision around underground equipment and the confined space within which the equipment operates. To address this hazard, various proximity detection systems have been developed.
This project evaluated different proximity detection systems available for use in underground coal mines. The scope of the project was to focus on interactions between the workforce with Continuous Miners, Shuttle Cars and LHDs. A testing programme was undertaken at an underground coal mine, which allowed testing without production interruptions.
During a two day workshop a suite of nine scenarios were developed. The scenarios represent the most common processes encountered in underground coal mines. The proximity detection systems were subjected to the developed scenarios and their performance was documented.
The detection zones of the different proximity detection systems were determined under normal operation, in the vicinity of an underground substation, detection pads at different heights, and multiple detection pads in zones.
The testing results provide a documented comparison of the different proximity detection system's performance, when subjected to the same set of scenarios. This will assist the underground coal mines to make a selection of the proximity detection system most suitable for their conditions.