Tech-led innovations promote workplace safety in mining

Mine technology has been instrumental in improving mining safety

According to GlobalData, the mining sector has made substantial improvements to its safety measures, moving away from the conventional tools of pickaxes and hard hats. With the help of modern technologies that come with personalised safety features, mining companies are now able to precisely detect potential hazards and take proactive measures to prevent accidents. The integration of tunnel safety devices and location-sensitive alarms is also facilitating this transformation, leading to a safer and more secure workplace environment.

Vaibhav Gundre, Sr. Consultant of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, comments: “There is a pressing need for advancements in safety devices for tunnels within the mining industry. Accidents not only incur significant costs but also attract negative publicity for a company. As environmental and regulatory hurdles mount, prioritising the adoption of safety technologies for miners is a crucial step towards securing profitable mining contracts.”

Rahul Kumar Singh, Senior Analyst of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, comments: “Technological progress has greatly improved the ability of mining companies to effectively address health and safety risks, surpassing the limitations of past approaches. By embracing drones, IoT devices, and other advanced tunnel safety technologies, companies can not only proactively tackle frequent mining hazards but also attract top talent seeking a safe and innovative workplace.”

Digging deeper into sustainability 

GlobalData’s FutureTech Series report, “Digging deeper into sustainability: key disruptive forces in mining​,” highlights more than 30 disruptive forces in mining as emerging, accelerating, and maturing innovation areas based on their rate of growth in innovation.

One example of this can be seen with tunnel safety devices, which are systems designed to proactively identify, mitigate, and manage a wide range of risks that can arise within tunnels. These include the mitigation of hazards such as fires, smoke, flooding, and accidents. In February 2023, researchers at the Schulich School of Engineering developed a sensitive methane sensor that detects methane at extremely low concentrations.

Specialised systems, known as location-sensitive alarms, activate when a person or object enters a predetermined geographic zone, functioning as an early warning mechanism to detect any unusual activity within that area. In February 2023, Sandvik launched xCell Cyclops, a convergence system for ground support in underground mining featuring built-in notifications and alarms to support a sustainable work environment.​

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