Precautionary measures for the protection of health and safety at the workplace have top priority where occupational safety is concerned. The importance that our journal attaches to this topic is borne out by the fact that it has been given its own dedicated section, implying our close involvement with ISSA Mining. This latest issue also includes a number of special contributions on this subject and for this reason the issue is featured under the heading “Safety in Mines”.
Rapidly deployed and well prepared rescue measures are crucial for the provision of help and support following a mining accident. This applies especially to the deep mining industry, where access – often by vertical shaft – and the spatial conditions will call for special precautions to be taken. The rescue plan drawn up for each shaft therefore provides for an auxiliary hoisting system for the retrieval of personnel in an emergency situation. As the mine shafts could be located at some distance from one another the requirement used to be that each shaft had to be equipped with its own auxiliary winding system. However, with a range of innovative mobile winches having become available it is now possible to move this equipment with a minimum of time from one shaft site to another. As shafts play a vital role in mining operations when it comes to transporting mineral and materials and manwinding it is paramount that they are properly maintained to ensure full functionality. We have used a number of examples to present the kind of shaft renovation measures that are required at salt and potash mines and also include details of the shaft conversion and refurbishment work that has been carried out at the Konrad final storage facility for radioactive waste.
In many of the areas where hydraulic fluid is used the potential fire risk associated with this medium must be kept to a minimum. Fire-resistant hydraulic fluids, whose properties are tested and certified to special standards, have a significant role to play in this regard.
The term “gas outburst” is recognised around the world and refers to several types of event involving the sudden release of a large body of mine gas. In order to improve the comparability of the causal analysis of such events, on one hand, and the effectiveness of the measures taken, on the other, a new type of classification that takes its reference from a number of selected gas-dynamic occurrences has now been proposed on the basis of various physical parameters and operational characteristics.
Measures aimed at preventing dust emissions from belt conveyors help protect personnel working close to these installations, improve site cleanliness and provide explosion protection. Installing the AirScrape System, e. g., serves to keep fine dust particles in the material flow, prevents material spillage and reduces maintenance outages.
In the opencast mining sector damaged electrical cables often cause production stoppages and also pose a potential hazard to personnel. Operating in limited natural light conditions also presents a challenge for power-line protection. Self-luminous trailing cables help to prevent damage even when working in the dark.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen