How Digitalization Will Help Improve Mining Safety

Mining companies are applying digitalized technologies like sensors and IoT so that they can increase the safety and security of the employees.

FREMONT, CA: In the mining industry, injuries due to explosions from gas, workers trapped underground from the cave-ins, falling off equipment, the spread of poisonous gases like carbon monoxide and methane, and accidents and spillage are real crucial threats. Safety and security have been a primary concern for decades. However, in recent times due to the advancement of technologies, the annual fatalities have reduced, but accidents persist. It is difficult to confirm the deaths per year, but it can be estimated that mining accidents are responsible for almost 12,000 deaths every year. As per the International Labour Organization (ILO), the mining industry employs only 1% of the workforce worldwide, but it is accountable for 8% of the accidents. 

Such frequent accidents in the mining sectors force the workers to leave the industry, and it is becoming difficult for companies to recruit new employees. Therefore, it has become essential for mining organizations to apply technologies that will provide tools to maintain workers' health and safety. 

Technology is making mine sites secure

Digital technologies are drastically bringing a transformation in the mining sector and ensuring its safety. For the past few years, technologies have transformed the mining environment with tools and techniques, starting with reliable connectivity to ensure data transmission securely between the sites. Other technologies that benefit the mining organizations are smart connected devices and data analytics that uses the Internet of Things (IoT). 

IoT can be utilized in mining by applying sensors to the equipment to monitor and communicate information in real-time. The information will help keep the employees safe and make the site more secure. Driverless trucks and smart vehicles can be used to shift the ore around the site, which can be done without the human workforce. Mining companies can also implement sensors in the clothes of the workers to track them and monitor their health automatically. These sensors can also send a notification to the site manager to alert them during any risky situation or accidents on the site.