Underground Driver Safety

July 8th 2015


The Mackwood Mining Group offers many solutions for your underground mining vehicle safety. Safety advancements and technology in the underground mining field is a continually growing and changing piece of the mining industry. Keeping your miners safe and your vehicles running is paramount to an efficient mining operation.

 

One of the major reasons that underground mining has become safer is due to driver protection in underground vehicles. Roll over protective structures (ROPS) and falling object protective structures (FOPS) have made underground driving much less dangerous than it used to be. Air cleaning/conditioning systems go a long way to helping a driver breathe cleaner air.

 

Mining roads, underground or not, can get steep and hard to navigate. Often times other equipment can be in the way of what would otherwise be a safe route. Many of the roads suffer damage from the consistent work of vehicles and machines near and on top of them. If a vehicle were to somehow roll over underground, the implications can be disastrous. Seat belts definitely help but without some sort of specific roll over protection, drivers can be in danger. A well designed ROPS system should stop any vehicle from rolling over onto it's back. At most a vehicle should roll onto it's side and stop, allowing access to the top of the vehicle still. Even in the case of a full roll-over an ROPS should create a zone of protection around the operator, stopping them from being crushed under the weight of the vehicle.

 

One of the main dangers of mining underground is the large expanse of earth that hangs over the operation. Earth is unpredictable and even though there are many techniques and solutions to keeping it in place, rocks and large sections of dirt can still fall onto unsuspecting miners and equipment. The roof or top of an ROPS system needs to meet these challenges. FOPS is a set of guidelines and requirements designed to meet specific safety standards when it comes to protecting operators from falling debris. Many ROPS canopies/roofs will easily shield the driver from the sun and other weather, but are not FOPS certified. The only way to be sure that your underground hauling truck is safe is to ensure that any canopy that shields a driver is FOPS certified by its manufacturer.

 

Many pieces of enclosed mining equipment also offer air cleaning/conditioning systems. Dust is a major problem for repeated entries into the underground world. Equipment operators that can sit inside an air conditioned cab are not only more comfortable and focused on their work, they have the luxury of breathing in much cleaner air.

Overall, underground mining comes with many safety hazards. Technology for keeping drivers and equipment functioning properly is only improving. Let The Mackwood Mining Group find an underground vehicle safety solution for you!


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