Page 60 - HUB-4 Magazine Issue 79
P. 60

  Quarrying News
Automation for the people.
Why mechanical automation is key to reducing injury in quarrying...
Harrowing statistics from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work state that quarry workers are twice as likely to be killed in an accident than construction workers, and thirteen times more likely than those working in manufacturing. There’s no doubt the industry can be dangerous, but how can mechanical automation support health and safety in the sector? Here David Strain, technical director at integrated automation system expert, Technidrive, explains.
Data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows that over 3,500 quarry workers have suffered an injury reportable to HSE since 2000, with 31 of those being fatal. There are several initiatives to improve safety in the sector, this includes Target Zero, a Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee
(QNJAC) scheme that has helped to reduce quarry accidents by over 80 per cent since 2000.
While this invaluable scheme — which includes training conferences and the creation of informative material — has achieved great things for the industry, the most effective way to minimise human risks in quarrying is to remove them from the most dangerous aspects. Automation is key to achieve this.
Automated equipment is already widely used to perform drilling, blasting, loading, hauling and sorting of materials. In addition to increasing speed and accuracy in these processes, automation can remove the need for operators to work intimately with dangerous equipment.
However, one area that often requires human intervention is the unblocking of jaw crushers. By nature, a jaw crusher must be incredibly strong. Rock enters the crusher from the top of
   | p60 | March/April - Issue 79

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