US Mining Agency Launches Push For Operational Risk Management Technologies

Whilst not at the forefront of many IT developments, the mining sector has been a leader in the use of worker safety technology which either protects workers in hazardous situations or eliminates the need for workers to be put at risk. A recent Verdantix study on worker safety found adoption in the mining sector of smart PPE, safety beacons (ActiveBlu, Optech4D), site sentinels (MyZone, SiteZone), VR safety training (Convergence Training, Qinetiq) and augmented reality heads up displays (DAQRI, Realwear).

Building on the industry’s interest in worker safety technology, the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MHSA) is seeking public comment about safety devices and controls to reduce hazards associated with large mobile equipment, such as bulldozers and dump trucks. MSHA’s incident tracking for 2017 found that 40% of mining fatalities and 30% of injuries were linked to mobile equipment operation. The agency reports that relevant factors included operators simply not using seat belts or incorrectly using them, operators’ inability to identify the edges of dump points causing equipment falls, and vehicle-to-vehicle collisions.

Safety technology vendors should ensure they pitch in to engage the mining industry with the full breadth of digital solutions available. This should include emerging industrial wearables products for location tracking (Modjoul, Vault Intelligence), vital signs monitoring (MākuSafe, Optalert), provision of contextual information via augmented reality (XOi Technologies, Upskill) and also movement analyzers and exoskeletons (Kinetic, Soter Analytics). According to a forthcoming Verdantix study, the mining industry is already one of the early adopters of wearable technology. You can learn more at the complimentary webinar on August 16th: “The Role of Wearable Technology in Addressing Core EHS Functions”.

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