HazardAvert for Coal Mining
HazardAvert is has been designed and built to be robust and durable for the underground coal mining environment. All system components are enclosed in explosion-proof (XP) casings.
HazardAvert can and has been used on continuous miners, shuttle cars, scoops, haulers, loaders, roof bolters, feeder breakers and ram cars. The system has a proven track record operating in working sections with multiple pieces of machinery and with multiple people. Every equipped person in the working section is detected by every piece of equipped operating machinery without the risk of interference.
The Magnetic Field Generators are the foundation component of the HazardAvert system. They are installed onto machinery and create highly stable electromagnetic fields, or zones, to delineate the edges of dangerous work areas around the unit. HazardAvert zones are designated as the outer ‘WARNING ZONE’ and the inner ‘HAZARD ZONE.’ Multiple Generators on the same machine enable greater control of zone coverage and shape, and Generators placed on the continuous miner boom can ensure that the zones remain constant as the boom articulates.
Low-frequency electromagnetic zones easily penetrate almost anything, including coal, rock, dust and water. Line-of-sight is not required for HazardAvert to detect potential dangers.
The Controller Box is the ‘brain’ of the system, monitoring the proximity system’s status and coordinating the interaction between multiple Generators. It interfaces with select control devices of the machinery to enable automatic slowing or stopping of the machinery in the event of an emergency.
The Display Tracking Pod is mounted in the operator’s compartment of haulage vehicles and at the rear, operator’s side of a continuous miner. It alerts operators of any triggered alarms and informs them of the system’s status utilizing colored LED lights. All activities are logged and stored in the Pod’s database, and data can be downloaded on demand using a Bluetooth® device or via wireless streaming over Strata’s wireless communication networks to a graphical user interface at the surface. In the control room, operators can track and monitor activities in real time. For more information on HazardLink™, click here.
Workers wear belt-worn Personal Alarm Devices (PADs), which detect and measure the electromagnetic zones and determine their proximity from the machine. When a miner enters a marked zone, the PAD emits an audible and a visual warning alarm, and the system alerts the machine operator. When in the ’WARNING ZONE,’ the PAD emits a red flashing LED and intermittent beeping alarm. When in the ’HAZARD ZONE,‘ the PAD illuminates a solid red LED and emits a solid alarm. If so programmed, the machine will automatically slow or stop.
PADs are charged after each shift with an external battery charger. Racks are available.
The size of zones for the system is set according to customer specifications at the time of installation. They are then standardized for the mine and also repeatable across all machinery in that mine, which increases ease of use and simplifies training. If needed, adjustments can be made at a later time.
Zones on haulage vehicles can be temporarily reduced by the continuous miner operator to allow the vehicles to interact as necessary. As the haulage vehicle approaches the continuous miner, the miner operator is alerted; then, by using his PAD, he can manually reduce the zone size of the hauler. As it retreats, the zone automatically returns to its prior, pre-set size.
Silent zones on haulage equipment enable machine operators to sit in the operator’s compartment or work in specified areas without activating the alarm or disabling the machine. As soon as the operator exits this silent zone, however, he will trigger alarms.
Any PAD can remotely stop all machinery in the worker’s line of sight by using the Remote Stop function. In a situation where a miner sees imminent danger, they can initiate a remote stop of all machinery in the area by pressing any two of the three buttons on their personal PAD to emit warning alarms.