SAFER SURFACE MINING

The number of trackless mining machines (TMMs) in South African surface mines which are already fitted with a proximity detection system (PDS) – also known as collision prevention systems (CPS) – is an indication that the global adoption of this safety technology is likely to accelerate in the near future. 

The number of trackless mining machines (TMMs) in South African surface mines which are already fitted with a proximity detection system (PDS) – also known as collision prevention systems (CPS) – is an indication that the global adoption of this safety technology is likely to accelerate in the near future. 

There are over 12 000 TMMs equipped with PDS in the country’s surface mining operations; this high figure has been driven partly by local mine safety legislation, which has made South Africa a leader in applying PDS for over 15 years. 

It has been estimated that between 30 – 40% of mining industry deaths worldwide are attributable to failures of ‘vehicle interaction controls’, according to the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT), and approximately half of these involve pedestrians.1 EMESRT is a global initiative of major mining companies to improve mine safety.

While the surface application of this technology is today widespread and growing, the initial take-up of PDS was in underground mines. Today, there are over 4000 TMMs in underground South African operations fitted with CPS, where these solutions still hold great potential for global application.

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