Mine efficiency through miner safety

Productivity is heavily dependent on the way people act. Changes in the work practices can have 20%+ gains, often at little or no cost. PWC argues that it is not about industrial relations issues that are usually perceived as the primary constraint to productivity. Still, that data shows significant performance differences between mines operating in close proximity, chasing the same commodity, and under similar industrial conditions.

There is a strong correlation between low onsite safety incidents and high production. By making safety a part of mining culture, the workforce can perform at their highest level. This includes machinery, allowing sites to operate at total capacity without stoppage time due to injury or reduced staffing. 


Less Muda in Mining

One of the challenges to increasing production at a high rate are the needed resources. Over the past century of grand-scale mining, the amounts of energy and water required to work the same quantities of rock have risen more than tenfold as the ores within have become more and more elusive. Mines are facing stark costs if they do not improve the efficiency of their mining. For example, companies experiment with processes that tolerate larger particles and therefore allow drier separation. Because crushing to a larger size, less energy is needed and more throughput is generated. This decreases operating costs significantly. Additionally, operators are recycling "left-overs" and extracting precious materials even more effectively than from the original site. Muda (wastefulness) in the past offers now great potential for improvement.


Miner Safety: How to identify areas for cost-effective mine growth?

Mining operations demand long-term and substantial investments, and turning a mine into a profitable business is a challenging, ongoing project. Strategic and operational answers will decide if success is feasible. Industry experts often claim that mining safety and productivity correlate and influence each other. For further reading, learn about underground safety and lone worker's safety.

So, how can we achieve mining targets in a safe, timely and cost-effectively? If we want to exploit the full potential of our mining investment, we should investigate the idea of risk management.




Miner Safety, Digitalization and Profitability

The mining industry is undergoing a digital transformation by incorporating advanced technologies and data-driven processes to enhance operational efficiency, safety, sustainability, and decision-making. This includes the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, automation, and robotics to optimise various aspects of the mining value chain. 

In this article, we enclose in which areas the implementation of digital solutions brings added value to mining risk management and operations.


Miner Safety 2023: Latest Trends

In the fast-evolving world of mining, ensuring safety remains a paramount concern. Our expert, Geir Nerbø, VP of Sales for Safe Mining, shares his insights after attending various industry fairs and conferences across three continents. As the industry rebounds from pandemic challenges, there is a renewed focus on meeting ESG expectations and transitioning towards low-carbon value chains. While geopolitical risks and inflationary pressures hinder some investments, the mining industry is steadfastly moving towards sustainability. In this article, we explore the current state of mining safety topics and trends, shedding light on the industry's progress and challenges.




Mining in the US before 1875

Digging up resources has always been a big part of America's growth story. It's deeply connected to what the United States of America as a nation are, going back to very early industrial days. Prior to the rise of towering cityscapes and expansive rail connections, the terrain concealed precious bounties that represented aspirations, chances, and at times, challenging truths. From the dawn of the indigenous era, where mineral extraction played a critical role in socio-economic dynamics, to the frenzied rushes of the 19th century that transformed territories into thriving states, mining in the US has been a saga of discovery, ambition, and revolution. In this article, we will go through the milestones of mining in the new world.




Mining in the united States - 1875 to present

Imagine standing on the edge of a bustling gold mine in the late 1800s, feeling the excitement and the promise of fortune. From those early days in the Wild West to the tech-driven mines of today, America's relationship with mining is as deep and complex as the tunnels that crisscross beneath its soil. Since 1875, mining has unearthed more than just minerals - it's revealed stories of grit, innovation, economic highs and lows, and environmental debates. Interested in the history of mining in the United States? Then let's go!




Mining in California

The story of the California Gold Rush isn't just about gold. It's a tale of adventure, ambition, and immense societal transformation. Many people flooded the western shores of America with dreams of prosperity; they brought challenges, change, and conflict as well. As a result of James W. Marshall's gold discovery at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California in 1848, one of the largest mass migrations in U.S. history began.




Mining in Canada

Mining in Canada is known for more than just being a big business – it is one of the core parts of the nation's history and how its economy has grown over time. - The shaping of the nation's physical places and its people's ways of life has been affected by mining from when Native American mineral use began to today's modern technology use and taking care of the environment. In telling the story of how mining in Canada started, one has to look at the many different places and ways of life found across the country that shaped its development. These many types of places all over the broad country of Canada, holding a lot of minerals, gave miners things to be excited about and problems to fix, which led to new ideas and hard work.


Miner Safety and Mining Productivity

The world’s major mining companies are faced with the need to discover a fresh recipe for success. The era of critical minerals has dawned upon us, marking the most significant transformation the industry has experienced in decades. Miners can no longer rely on outdated strategies and portfolios to generate value in this newly dynamic and fiercely competitive environment. Mining CEOs are well aware of this fact: according to PwC’s 26th Annual Global CEO Survey, 41% of respondents believe that their companies will not remain economically viable in ten years if they continue on their current trajectory. Consequently, the era of critical minerals demands a complete reinvention of the mining industry. So how to stay relevant in business and grow productivity then?



miner safety topics in the past

Miner Safety in the past

As humans began to dig into the Earth in search of valuable materials way back when mining was an indispensable activity. It powered the Bronze Age, brought prosperity during the Gold Rush, and led to industrialization. With mining, cities have grown, economies have flourished, empires have risen and fallen, and history has been shaped by mining. Historically, miners have been forced to contend with both the challenges of mining deep in the Earth's core and the lack of adequate safety standards.




Miner Safety and Industry in Australia

In Australia, mining is a big deal, not only because it's a big source of exports and jobs, but also because it pays out royalties. As people immigrated to Australia during the gold rushes of the 1850s, it fueled population growth. Several types of ores, gems, and minerals have been mined in the country for hundreds of years, and this diversity continues today. It amounts to 75% of the country’s exports, contributes significantly to its workforce and is a leading influence on Australia’s standard of living, rising incomes and flourishing economy.



Miner Safety and Mining in Australia

Miner Safety and Industry in Australia - 2

Originally sparked by the gold rush in the 19th century, Australian mining has shaped the economy, attracting big investments and helping with technology. Over the years, the global market has fluctuated, technology has evolved, and political and environmental scenarios have changed. With advanced technology, strict safety protocols, and an emphasis on eco-friendliness and ethical practices, the mining industry today is a mix of historical roots and modern innovation. Despite this, there are a lot of challenges, like sustainability, globalization, and environmental concerns. There are a lot of perspectives on Australian mining, including environmental impacts, technological advancement, government policies, regulations, global influence, competition, and the future. Since the industry is still the leader in mining, it's important to take these elements into account when determining its future.




Miner Safety and the Workforce of Tomorrow

The situation is clear: the mining world needs new blood to keep things running smoothly. If recruits don't step up soon, we're looking at problems that could stretch way beyond just the mines. So, what's being done about it? Well, we're taking a closer look at the efforts across Europe and North America to make mining cool again – or at least, a solid career choice. We're diving into what's keeping folks from considering a job in mining and the creative solutions that might turn things around, from making the jobs more appealing to tackling the challenges of getting to these remote worksites.


Mining in Mexico

Mining is one of Mexico’s most important economic activities. A part of the country’s culture since pre-Colombian times, mining in Mexico saw a new era of development begin during Spanish colonization, with a particular focus on precious metals exploration. From the silver-laden mountains of Zacatecas to the valleys, filled with gold, of Sonora, Mexico's geological bounty has shaped its economic landscape. Five centuries later, the country is amongst the top ten global producers of more than 15 metals and minerals. In the first quarter of 2023, Mexico's mining gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to approximately 879.69 billion Mexican pesos, a slight increase when compared to the previous quarter of that same year., as the sector recovered from the pandemic slump, while supported by a high in metal prices.

Mine Risk Management and Miner Safety

The mining industry has always been risky, with worker safety concerns representing only a portion of the challenges. Increasingly strict regulations, reliance on technology, inconsistent demand for raw materials and high commodity prices are matters of high importance for a mining company.

Fortunately, most mining corporations can offset this with effective risk management programs. Moreover, many industry executives are already ahead in effectively managing risks. They understand that significant gains often come with considerable risks, and welldesigned programs enable them to pursue those opportunities safely.


Miner safety underground by zone coverage

Covering zones means monitoring the access to zones. Let's say you have ten sub-levels of each 1 km length. Instead of putting fibre and WiFi routers along 10km underground tracks, you only add reading devices at every sub-level entrance. By this, you will always know how many people entered, are still in a specific zone or left it. Workers equipped with transponders enable the system to locate them continuously and increase miner safety. In case of an emergency, the rescue coordinator can immediately identify people in a zone at risk and act accordingly.


Miner Safety: RFID use cases

RFID technology is used in various ways in the mining industry to improve efficiency and profits. One way RFID is used is to track the location of equipment. This helps to reduce delays caused by human error, as well as optimize activities for greater profit. Another way RFID is used in the mining industry is to track the status of maintenance and repairs. This allows mining companies to schedule downtime better and avoid costly delays. Finally, RFID is also used to monitor safety conditions in mines to ensure that miners are working in safe conditions and can quickly respond to any potential hazards. Overall, RFID technology is a valuable tool for the mining industry as for miner safety.



Miner Safety: Leave no worker behind

Imagine, it is Thursday afternoon and you send a person out to perform a routine check in a hazardous area. The person checks his PPE, prepares his tools and walks to the specific area.

On site, his personal gas monitor alerts him to high levels of dangerous gases. He should call for backup, but it could be another hour before an assistance can get to the location. He knows this situation, it has happened before, so he thinks he can manage to do the routine check quickly and get out there in a few minutes. He mutes the alarm on his monitor entering the area, starts his routine checks and is overcome by the gases.


MIner Tracking: The Benefits of a Lone Worker Solution

Lone worker tracking solutions come in various forms, but all usually include some form of tracking device that the employee wears while working. The device then communicates with a central server, which the employer or emergency services can access. In the event of an emergency, the employee can activate a panic button on the device, which will send an alert to the server. Much better, the device recognizes potentially threatening situations and alerts safety coordinators to trigger a rescue operation. The employer or emergency services can then track the employee's location and respond accordingly.


How Does Mining Technology contribute to safety measures?

Mines can be an extremely unsafe environment with possibilities of collapsing, explosion, flooding, fire, and machinery accidents which can instantly affect a huge number of people. Workers might also be exposed to hazardous gases and dust, which can lead to many diseases. 

Learn in this article about mining technology, safety systems and devices that improve and maintain safety standards in the mining industry.



Miner safety equipment for improved operations

Investing in mine safety equipment during blasting operations is a win-win situation for both the workers and the mining operations, leading to improved profitability and sustainable growth. In this article, find out more about which safety measures can enhance profitability during blasting.



Miner safety and Mining industry trends

Learn about the latest mining industry trends in our extensive overview as we take you on a journey through the sector's transformational dance with cost control, ESG considerations, geopolitics, climate change, technology adoption, and workforce development. This insightful dive reveals how these intertwined elements are orchestrating a new era in the mining industry. Experience the rhythm of change in the mining sector and uncover how to strategise for a profitable, sustainable, and digital future. 


Miner safety and Digital Transformation

As the world becomes faster and faster, the impact of the digital age cannot be ignored. Mining, a history of hard work and manual labour, has been synonymous with the advent of the digital age for centuries. All industries around the world have been forced to adapt and innovate. However, the dawn of the digital age has brought about a remarkable change in how mines operate.

As more and more mines embrace technology, they have expanded their exploration and production practices, as well as their supply chain management and safety protocols. So how to become a mine 4.0?


Miner Safety and Mine Technology

Mining is a hazardous industry and can be dangerous for miners without proper safety measures in place. Mine technology can potentially increase miner safety while improving efficiency and productivity. This whitepaper outlines how mine technology has been used to improve mining safety over the past decades and what new technologies are being developed for use in the future.


Monitoring Miners: The Control Room Operator is Miner's Best Friend

As a centralised institution, the state-of-the-art control centre is where all aspects of the mining operation can be monitored and controlled. These expectations can be achieved by visualisation of all operations, including production, plant and logistics, and creates a highly efficient, automated, low-cost, and, most importantly, safe operation.

The capabilities built into the control centre include mine planning, production scheduling, fixed plant management, safety management, monitoring miners and production, control, backfill management, breakdown and planned maintenance management, processing and remote operations and analytics.


Miner Tracking: Tag Solutions in Real-World Scenarios

The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006 amended the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 to allow greater protection for underground (coal) miners and enhance emergency preparedness.

It mandated mine operators to develop emergency response plans, guarantee that rescue teams were nearby, and maintain communications and tracking systems for use in a crisis. In addition, it also boosted mine safety training and research.


The Chile Mine Disaster and How Mining in South America Changed

The mining accident of 2010 in Copiapó was a turning point in the way how mines are run, particularly in Chile, generally in South America. 33 miners were rescued after spending more than two months underground.

In this article, we illustrate the current state of mining in South America and how multiple accidents in the 21st century have changed the perception of safety. In addition, we show what measures were implemented to improve safety standards in the region.


Miner Safety: Design the safe and attractive mine

Mining operations are inherently challenging and potentially hazardous environments. However, by prioritizing safety and implementing thoughtful design principles, mines can be made safer and more attractive for workers. In this article, we will explore key considerations and strategies for designing a mine that ensures miner safety while maintaining an appealing working environment.

Miner safety mesh network

Miner Safety: Wireless Mesh Network

Originally conceived for military uses, wireless mesh radio networks are designed so that each node can act as a router for others dynamically. This design ensures that if some nodes fail, the rest can still maintain communication among themselves and, if needed, can function as uplinks for the other nodes. This sounds interesting enough to check if wireless mesh networks are valid candidates to be considered for miner safety.


VW Autostadt Infographic

The Autostadt in Wolfsburg focuses on all aspects of mobility. The theme park and educational centre is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. The Autostadt is also the world's largest new car delivery centre and home to the multi-brand ZeitHaus car museum.

Into the Underground: Hagerbach, Delving Into the Future

Miners dig deep underground, and Hagerbach digs deep into the future. Transferring aspects of life into mountains could become a reality one day. Hagerbach (Switzerland) became a testing ground for mining and tunnelling technologies, and today, they offer an academy, research and test installations for engineering and safety in mining and tunnelling sector.

Safety is at the centre point of activities in Hagerbach. Participants learn safety practices, research safe methods and materials, simulate proper ways of equipment handling and try out new technologies. They looked at available safety assistance solutions in the market and tested different technologies for their safety concept and eliminated all of them except Crew Companion.