Using Technology to Improve Mining Safety and Productivity
Mining safety is about reducing accidents, saving lives, and improving worksite health and safety, which can be challenging in an industry beset with numerous on-the-job risks, dangerous equipment, and occupational hazards. That’s where technology can help. By implementing mobile technology and learning from collected data, the mining industry can initiate in-depth analysis and dialogue that will lead to better ideas, smarter decisions, and strategic initiatives that fundamentally change the way companies approach mine safety.
Mobile technology vastly improves the speed and efficiency of data collection and analysis. It allows for the seamless transfer of information between the daily happenings of remote mining operations and the decision-makers in central offices, allowing data to be shared and interpreted in real-time and enabling faster, more informed decisions to be made. Having an immediate window into day-to-day mining processes and procedures allows GMs and safety leaders to react quickly to problems and make improvements to systems more efficiently, resulting in increased productivity, fewer unplanned shutdowns, overall cost savings, and most importantly, fewer injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
Regular audits performed with mobile technology help establish and maintain accountability, which reduces worker errors. In the event of an accident, safety leaders can quickly establish who did what, when, and how, allowing them to hold miners responsible for their actions and address any miscommunications or mistakes that have occurred with the proper training necessary to rectify the problem. Nothing rattles a mining crew like witnessing or experiencing an accident. Gaining the trust and raising the morale of your workforce starts with prioritizing safety, and investing in technology that makes the worksite safer is the best way to show that miner well-being is management’s top concern.
A safer workplace driven by data analysis means higher morale, but it also means increased compliance. Mining is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, with complicated guidelines, restrictions, and standards that vary from country to country. By leveraging accurate, data-driven methodologies in the mining industry, managers and safety professionals can ensure they remain compliant with these standards. Mobile technology provides the speed, depth, and accuracy required to provide precise and correct information to MSHA regulators to prove compliance, saving the organization time and money.
The Bottom Line
When consistently analyzed and refined, data collection and analysis can have a massive impact on mining productivity and efficiency. It can help companies understand what’s most important to their day-to-day operations, how they can focus their attention on improving in those areas, and how those improvements can ultimately propel the bottom line. This process of continuous and incremental progress is only as effective as the tools used to drive it, which is why it is critical that mining safety leaders invest in mobile technologies and innovations capable of having a significant effect on workplace safety.