As safety remains a top priority in the mining sector, increasing regulations and recommendations are placing an emphasis on the way that technology can improve operating practices and the move towards a target of zero harm.

Strata Worldwide, a global leader in mine safety innovation, has been working internationally and locally to improve safety in the mining industry through advanced technologies, including proximity detection systems.

Proximity detection systems works by detecting when a person enters a potentially dangerous area around machinery and automatically sends out a warning alert. Audible and visual alarms bring attention to a situation prior to contact and injury.

In the US and South Africa, proximity detection systems are now a legal requirement and both countries are experiencing a significant drop in reported injuries and fatalities. There has been a decrease in accidents caused by mobile machinery in South Africa since the industry has introduced the technology into its operations.

While in Australia, the technology is yet to become a legal requirement, mining regulators, guidance papers and inspectors are encouraging operators to implement collision avoidance systems as part of their core safety procedures.

Both the Queensland and New South Wales governing bodies have released recommendations in the form of guidance notes that encourage mining operators to introduce collision prevention systems.

For Paul Mullins, global product manager for proximity detection, Strata Worldwide believes that Strata is best placed to advise mining operators here in Australia how to improve safety using proximity detection systems.

“Through our experience elsewhere in the world, we are capable of navigating the guidance notes and providing solutions that meet the governing bodies recommendations and expectations,” he said.

Since 2011, Strata Worldwide has been working with multiple leading mining sites in Queensland and New South Wales in trialling the proximity detection systems.

“Our recent trials have resulted in great success, and we are now beginning installation in production environments,” said Mullins.

“We have been working with the mining industry here in Australia to demonstrate the benefits of introducing this kind of technology. We have the international expertise and experience to assist our customers in implementing proximity detection systems here in Australia.”

With over two decades of experience in the mining industry, Strata Worldwide has been developing innovative products and safety solutions for mines all over the world. Strata’s heritage is in underground coal technology but in recent years it has developed its product rang to include underground hard rock and surface mining, ensuring the whole spectrum of mining is covered.

“We have a thorough understanding of how the technology works, and the risk mitigating approach required to implement proximity detection systems appropriately.”

Strata’s innovative proximity detection system, HazardAVERT, is an electromagnetic proximity detection system designed to prevent vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian accidents and collisions, particularly crushing and pinning-type accidents in underground environments.

HazardAVERT detects people and vehicles entering potentially dangerous areas around machinery and automatically sends out warning alerts. Audible and visual alarms bring attention to a situation prior to contact or collision. If no corrective action is taken, or in the event of a sudden emergency, HAZARDAVERT can be interlocked into the controls of the equipment to automatically slow or stop the machinery completely.

Founded in 1992, Strata has more than 25 years’ experience providing reliable and innovative safety solutions in the mining and energy sectors. Strata’s mission is to provide products and services that keep working environments both safe and productive.

With core values including to listen to and work with customers, tailor solutions to meet their needs and provide unmatched service and support throughout the entire business, Strata works closely with its customers to establish the best products and systems for their operations.