Research by UK satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat has revealed that adopting automation and internet of things (IoT) can contribute significantly to the health and safety of staff in the mining industry.
In May, respondents from around 100 large mining companies worldwide were interviewed for Inmarsat’s ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise – 2017’ report.
Based on findings in the research, IoT is expected to play a key role in enabling mining companies to meet their obligations to staff, governments, the environment, and shareholders.
Through the interview process, it was determined that around 40% of companies in the mining industry have plans to deploy IoT solutions within the next 18 months.
Inmarsat mining director Joe Carr said: “The mining sector has worked over many years towards an industry-wide commitment of Zero Harm. Mines are a uniquely specialised, hazardous environment and as such miners are highly focused on employee safety.
“IoT solutions can play a significant role by remotely monitoring conditions and gathering data to anticipate and react to potential safety threats.”
Around 44% of the respondents stated that deployment of IoT is important to improve the health and safety of staff.
Improving health and safety remains a key factor that drives mining companies to embrace IoT, with 43% citing it as a primary motive for their IoT strategy. It lags behind monitoring environmental changes at 47% and improving cost-effectiveness at 44%.
Carr added: “IoT technology provides the digital nerve system for a network of automated devices and sensors that adjust to environmental conditions in real-time, meaning that equipment can react to potentially hazardous physical changes onsite rapidly without the need for human intervention, removing staff from potentially dangerous environments.”