Mine rescue vehicle, reducing injury ACARP winners

THE Simtars mine rescue vehicle and research into reducing injury risks associated with underground equipment have come out winners at this year's ACARP Research Excellence Awards.
Mine rescue vehicle, reducing injury ACARP winners Mine rescue vehicle, reducing injury ACARP winners Mine rescue vehicle, reducing injury ACARP winners Mine rescue vehicle, reducing injury ACARP winners Mine rescue vehicle, reducing injury ACARP winners

Bruce Robertson, Ray Davis, Sue Leveritt, Tony Egan, Gul Kizil, Larelle Fabbro, Robin Burgess-Limerick, Jon Davis, Patrick Glynn.

Angie Tomlinson

ACARP selected five winners with all the projects centring on safety.

"These awards continue to target excellent projects that are unique, bring real benefits to the industry and are led by diligent achievers who reflect well on the Australian coal industry," ACARP said.

The award for Best Underground Equipment Safety project was awarded to Robin Burgess-Limerick for his project, Reducing Injury Risks Associated with Underground Equipment.

Burgess-Limerick's project was born out of 2005 injury data from Xstrata Coal NSW underground operations, which highlighted the prevalence of injuries associated with development equipment, particularly continuous miners, shuttle cars, load-haul-dump vehicles and personnel transport.

The project involved a systematic identification of the hazards associated with underground equipment and a collation of controls currently in place at 14 mines.

The research was supported by an analysis of Coal Services' injury data, and visits to other sites, manufacturers, government agencies and international research organisations to identify potential controls.

Burgess-Limerick developed a generic tool and training materials that assist mines in systematically assessing and controlling the injury risks associated with underground equipment.

"This project significantly raised awareness of both mines and manufacturers of the shortcomings inherent in the design of current equipment, and a number of re-design initiatives have been adopted by Xstrata NSW as a consequence," Anglo Coal's Bruce Robertson said during the presentations in Brisbane this month.

"Robin has helped the Australian coal industry get onto the front foot and make the changes that were needed rather than awaiting the OEMs. Within this project he has worked hard to get the message across. The publications and courses that flow from his work are exemplary."

The award for Best Mine Emergency project was presented to Simtars' Ray Davis for his project, Mines Rescue Vehicle - Testing and Development.

The project was first developed as a solution to the lack of transport during an underground incident.

"The group that escaped the Moura Number 2 explosion did so because they had access to a mine vehicle with which to escape," Robertson said.

"It is likely that they illegally used the vehicle in that it was not approved for use in the environment they found themselves post explosion.

"Ray and his team have worked hard to develop an approved package of equipment that can be retrofitted to existing mine vehicles to provide a safe means of escape."

The project has trialled a flameproof diesel vehicle in elevated methane environments to determine the "real rather than perceived" impact of running a diesel in an explosive atmosphere.

Research has shown that a flameproof personnel transport vehicle can be safely operated in an explosive atmosphere with the operator maintaining complete control of the vehicle.

"Hard work and diligence is helping them team with commercialisers [sic] to offer an effective safety package, thereby solving a real industry concern," Robertson said.

The award for Best Open Cut Equipment Safety project was presented to Patrick Glynn of CSIRO Exploration & Mining for his project, Collision Avoidance for Mine Haul Trucks.

Taking out the award for Best Open Cut Ergonomics project was Xstrata's Tony Egan together with Jim Joy, Gul Kizil and Sue Leveritt of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland, for their project, Human Factor Engineering of Surface Mining Equipment.

The award for Best Health and Environment Project was awarded to Larelle Fabbro of Central Queensland University for her project, Mine Water Quality - Controlling the Spread of Blue Green Algae.