Home » Current issue 5/2016

Current issue 5/2016


Andreas-Peter Sitte
(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)


Work safety is just as important a strategic task as meeting production targets. German mining companies have long shared this view and the international mining industry is now increasingly taking the same approach. The German mining industry with its long-standing traditions can bring a wealth of experience to bear here, especially with the support provided by the BG RCI (Employers’ Liability Insurance Association of the Raw Materials and Chemicals Industry). It is therefore no coincidence that just one year after the International Mines Rescue Body Conference of September 2015 the BG RCI played such a key role in the first Vision Zero Europe Conference that was also held in Germany.

Occupational health and safety and environment protection are themes that Mining Report Glückauf has been highlighting for some time under the heading ISSA Mining. The present contribution in this area assesses the technological restrictions that deeper workings impose on mines rescue work. The current issue also focuses on another important aspect of workplace safety, namely fire and explosion protection.

Of course the best solution is to prevent a mine fire breaking out in the first place and for this reason the underground mining industry only uses those materials that are non-flammable or fire-resistant, or which cannot of themselves propagate a fire that is already established. The testing and certification work needed in this area has for many years been carried out by the staff of the DMT GmbH & Co. KG, and its predecessor establishments, operating on the site of the former Tremonia colliery in Dortmund.

And of equal importance to the materials we use is the need to comply with the safety regulations in place for explosive atmospheres and to ensure that these are constantly reviewed and updated. However, as the risk of an underground fire cannot be ruled out completely we need to have technologies available that can record and display even the smallest change in temperature level. If in spite of all these preventive measures a mine fire does break out we must have the means at our disposal to contain and smother the outbreak. This is aided by the fact that mining technology aimed primarily at improving coal production levels can also have a safety dimension. Coal-face technology designed to recognise the boundary layer separating coal from dirt, e. g., can also be used to prevent incendive sparking.

The final paper of this issue returns to the 250th anniversary of Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, which in line with established tradition has produced a commemorative coin to celebrate the occasion.

With my best regards

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Herne