Developing Health and Safety in mines

first_imgAccording to Global Mine Design Ltd: “The phrase ‘Zero Harm’ is a widely used strapline throughout the mining industry as we try to combat having reached, statistically at least, a safety plateau. Internationally the number of injuries recorded decreased from 3,138 in 2015 to 2,662 in 2016, but this rate has slowed compared to previous years. The major causes of fatalities were still fall-of-ground incidents at 33%; slip and fall, falls from heights and fires together accounted for 21% and transport factors accounted for 14%.Global Mine Design Ltd says it is working to positively change the approach to mine design. “Our approach, of using integrated monitoring networks to reinforce safe working conditions and provide input for ongoing data-driven mine planning decisions, is based on experience we’ve gained from years of monitoring excavation response in challenging active ground conditions. Our expertise is used to help mine sites design ground support systems and create safe work protocols.”When talking about Health and Safety in general it would be fair to shine the spotlight on South Africa, where the legacy from earlier attitudes to worker safety still resonates in the drive to continually improve safe mining conditions. The South African Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) shows fatalities falling from 112 in 2012 to 93 in 2013, 84 in 2014 and 77 in 2015; 73 deaths were recorded in 2016.Warren Beech (Head of Mining at Hogan Lovells in Johannesburg, South Africa), in his recent interview with Mining Weekly, explained his belief that two major factors are behind poor health and safety performance in South Africa’s mining industry: “The primary issue is behaviour – the attitude and approach to health and safety at mining operations. The key to addressing behaviour is internalising a sense of safety. Health and safety at mines needs to go beyond implementation on site only, and needs to be embedded as common practice by all mine staff [regardless of whether they are at home or at work]. For example, vehicle speed limits, although mostly adhered to at mine sites, are quickly disregarded as soon as personnel leave the site, as enforcement is drastically reduced and the threat of being caught is less probable.”He adds: The second issue is the general instability in the mining sector, which affects the morale of mine management and staff, including political insecurity nationally and job insecurity as well as general commercial insecurity in the mining industry, with depressed commodity prices and variable demand from the once thriving primary markets… The mines went through major restructuring as a result of the international commodities downturn . . . in terms of demand and prices. Restructuring impacts on work teams, including supervision, the sense of camaraderie and smooth workflow.”Global Mine Design believes it can see elements of these issues throughout the global mining industry. In the UK, for example, the Health and Safety Executive published revised Mines Regulations in 2014 with emphasis on producing a single, modern set of regulations that are focussed on the control of risks from major hazards in mines. This is a timely update of the regulations, with the recent opening of Wolf Minerals’ Drakelands Mine and several other exciting mining prospects in the UK, such as Strongbow Exploration’s work to re-open the South Crofty tin mine in Cornwall, and Galantas Gold Corporation’s expansion of the Cavanacaw Mine in Northern Ireland. In Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Labour published a Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review in March 2015 that focussed on continuous improvement of occupational health and safety needs in the mining sector.So, while great inroads are being made in terms of legislation and policy making, there is a long journey between legislation and ‘boots on the ground’ worker safety. “Global Mine Design always has an eye for the practical application of safe, economic, and productive mine design, and part of that comes from seeing the implementation of safety practices across multiple mining jurisdictions around the world.”Global Mine Design gets involved with Mine Standards in three very important ways. “As auditors, we help mines review their current Ground Control Management and Mine Design standards to determine if they are up to date and effective in the workforce; if standards need improving, we help the site adopt Change Management procedures to track important changes in protocols. As technical and subject matter experts we help mines understand the critical and influential ground conditions and material properties that influence the rockmass response to mining; understanding how the mine may respond to the extraction plan allows the risks and benefits associated with different options to be considered before committing. As members of Technical Advisory Committees in various mining jurisdictions around the world our staff help share best practice; technical groups and committees are critical to feed ideas and information amongst peers – communication of good and bad experiences helps raise the overall standard of mine safety standards.”last_img read more

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RPMGlobal launches first maintenance cost budgeting solution

first_imgRPMGlobal has delivered a Maintenance Cost Budgeting (MCB) solution which it says is “unlike anything the mining industry has seen. RPM’s MCB solution fills a gap that the industry has struggled with for many years. MCB is not a product but rather a process and capability unlocked through RPM’s Enterprise solutions that provide the ability to connect information from disparate systems.”MCB is about continually reforecasting throughout the year, not simply preparing a budget and forgetting about it. Commenting on the process, RPM’s Executive General Manager of Product Strategy, Michael Baldwin states, “The whole point of a budget is to measure and control costs through a defined time period. Without an accurate budget you have nothing to control.” MCB lets you continually measure against the budget and reforecast as it changes. Budgeting is a control mechanism, how do I control my part of the business so that it fits within the company’s strategic plan? Well in maintenance, I make minor changes very frequently that correct my course and steers me to the right destination.”RPM’s solutions are SAP certified and are being used with PI, Hana Cloud and other cloud services as well as major enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems all over the world. The solution, which is SAP certified and capable of integrating with other ERP’s, is currently being used at a variety of sites following successful implementation.Maintenance planners use these solutions to provide accurate forecasts for not only each machine but the entire operation at the click of a button. Corporate management then have confidence that the numbers being used have repeatable, consistent logic behind them that is 100% in sync with their ERP and not simply a spreadsheet from someone’s desktop.MCB is a process that starts from a zero base to build a budget and continually updates as changes occur. Non-zero-based budgeting uses historical trends to determine future spend but in the maintenance world, future spend cannot be determined historically. Maintenance costs can change month to month and week to week, as the usage, age and condition of assets change.MCB provides zero-based budgeting for a maintenance department by using live maintenance plans and strategies. Any changes to any maintenance activity automatically update the maintenance cost forecast so it is always live.“There are still a lot of operations that take last year’s numbers and add a percentage to determine next year’s budget. Even if you apply some rudimentary calculations to more accurately forecast an amount, the strategy is still fraught with danger as the technique uses disconnected summaries of data to make an assumption that could have a massive impact on your bottom line,” said Baldwin.MCB also takes budgeting accuracy a step further by incorporating departmental overheads such as workshops, employees, management and training, all of which are typically very difficult to track and budget within a specific department. RPM’s solution provides these costs and when you combine this with zero-based strategy tasks you start to get a very accurate picture of the future. The solution allows you to forecast not only planned strategy tasks (those with a defined frequency and date) but also those without a frequency. These are the tasks that will occur, but at an unspecified time.The final piece of the puzzle is linking machine hours back to the mine plan. If the mine’s production plan is not being used to determine machine hours and therefore maintenance events, then it is effectively an assumption as to how that machine will be used. RPM’s scheduling solutions provide the expected usage of each machine through each period of the plan.In the connected world, it is important to use connected data to improve and make our lives easier. MCB connects the required data sources and combines this information with a combination of preventative maintenance strategies to provide a live and realistic view of the maintenance world. Maintenance Cost Budgeting is a process using several tools that ultimately provides maintenance cost management for any operationlast_img read more

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