| Written by Mark Buzinkay

Today, robots assist miners during tasks that are difficult, unsafe or potentially hazardous to health: checking a pipeline for obstacles, carrying equipment, enabling communication by connecting to other robots and drones.

At the Hagerbach Test Gallery (Switzerland), miner safety and visitor safety is paramount.

More about Miner Tracking solutions here

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Talking of risky business: safety is always a central focus of activities at Hagerbach. Participants learn safety practices, research safe methods and materials, simulate proper ways of equipment handling, and try out new technologies. Experience and technology come together, safety standards and knowledge are shared and transferred, and sometimes they are the reason for adapting existing safety-related standards and processes in the industry.

"We not only do safety research and teaching here, but we need to also provide safety for our visitors, students and customers as well", says Michael Kompatscher, CEO of the Hagerbach Test Gallery. "This is paramount. You must live what you preach. We have a solid safety regime. It is based on Crew Companion, a system from IDENTEC SOLUTIONS."

"We looked at available safety assistance solutions in the market and tested different technologies. For one reason or another we eliminated all of them, EXCEPT Crew Companion, which is perfect for us: a modular system that can scale endlessly. It is up to us to decide how precisely we need to locate personnel underground and Crew Companion enables this. With clever planning, you can find out exactly what you need to, when you need to.

Additionally, you can lock areas off based on access rights. However, to be honest, the most important part for us is the solution's reliability. It must work around the clock and we trust it entirely, because it works. This is our promise to our visitors.", says Kompatscher, as he pats his own Crew Companion transponder in his pocket, and puts on a hard-hat before making his way into the underground tunnels of Hagerbach.

Do you want to learn more about the Hagerbach Test Gallery, its innovations and what role safety plays?