The Willson PowerAir Miner respiratory helmet combines a fully integrated head, face and respiratory protection system and is ideal for use on a longwall face.
The system was developed within the US space technology program for dust environments requiring an integrated unit. The helmet includes an air-purifying respirator powered by a 10-hour battery, which is activated by pulling down the retractable visor. The visor itself slides back under and within the helmet, and is impact and scratch resistant. It includes an anti-mist option as well.
Filters last up to 50 hours and are quick and easy to replace, with no pre-filters required. The helmet is very quiet, generating no more noise than the human voice, or 65dB.
The PowerAir Miner can take a standard miner’s lamp and battery, available as an accessory. The helmet is switched on by the final twisting of the cap lamp into the vertical position.
The unit costs almost double the price of competitors but cost savings come from the ease of maintenance. A Bullivants cost analysis found the PowerAir cost over 30% less to maintain over a year than other comparable units.
Australian mines approvals are imminently expected said Bullivants sales manager Ken Eccles, who added industry interest in the helmet had been very keen. Spare parts are readily available.
“We expect our first order for twenty of these units to be placed from mines in the Southern coalfield. In addition we will be trialing the helmet at two NSW longwall mines,” Eccles said.