Jin Kyo-Moon, President
Asilver lining behind the havoc wrought by COVID-19 is that people across the globe now understand the importance of air filtration and the danger of substances unseen to the naked eye. While the issue is not unfamiliar in the mining industry, where dust has always posed a severe threat, operator safety from particulate matter via cabin air filtration has gained increasing scrutiny due to the pandemic.
Additionally, the situation has also incited companies to seek monitoring tools that gather data to help medical staff better deduce the cause of illnesses among machine operators. Understanding the need of the hour and working to provide answers to these challenges, Brisbanebased BreatheSafe has engineered various products that protect operators and equipment with high-efficiency intelligent air filtration and pressurization systems. “When aiming for zero harm, the goal must be zero exposure to harmful particulates,” says Nicholas Johnstone, Founder of BreatheSafe.
The company’s cutting-edge air filtration technology is designed such that workers can operate from within their cabins without protective masks. BreatheSafe’s technology is engineered to eliminate both inhalable and respirable dust with a higher grade of filtration than PPE masks specialized for mining. Respirable particulates such as DPM (Diesel Particulate Matter), crystalline silica dust, asbestos, and the like are known to be harmful, and their size risks them being absorbed into joints in the body and causing inflammation or worse. DPM exposure is also known to cause genetic diseases and premature births.A study conducted by NIOSH (National SOLUTION PROVIDERS IN APAC 2021 TOP 10 MINING SAFETY Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) in 2012 also shows that dust exposure to operators inside standard air-conditioned cabins is much higher than having no cabin at all. Caught between a rock and a hard place, companies need to partner with vital, new-age filtration technologies to protect their employees.
When aiming for zero harm, the goal must be zero exposure to harmful particulates
Since respirable dust is invisible to the naked eye, BreatheSafe also educates users and clients about its dangers and protective measures against it. “We strive to make the client and users understand the need for topquality filtration and how it helps their companies save costs,” adds John stone.
With over 20 years of expertise in the mining space, Johnstone says that a common misconception in the industry is that providing a safe working environment is an expensive endeavor. In reality, however, ensuring worker safety can drastically reduce capital expenditure and improve profit margins. Moreover, BreatheSafe’s filtration products are designed to work through the machine’s life, thereby saving substantial maintenance costs too.
By actively monitoring an operator’s cabin, BreatheSafe’s products can comprehensively document the air constituency and what particulates the operator might be exposed to. This functionality helps ensure that operators adhere to standard protocol and, in the event of an illness, enables medical workers to diagnose ailments accurately.
“Moving forward, more mine sites will need to install air filtration systems that can effectively monitor the amount of harmful dust particles,” says Johnstone. Another core ideology of BreatheSafe is to provide all of its filtration technology in a cost-effective and timely manner. Many of the clients that have partnered with BreatheSafe can attest to the efficacy of its air filtration solutions.
Driven by a penchant for innovation and creating safety solutions, BreatheSafe has developed OnGuard—the company’s newest monitor controller with extensive data logging and recording, remote control and viewing, fine motor control. After research and development spanning two years, OnGuard is poised to change the face of industrial air filtration and pressurisation. The technology fully automates data logging and alerting, and thereby removes many opportunities for human error and is also cost effective in the long term. Access to this real time data provides convenient visibility and allows managers to make informed decisions without undue delay, thus increasing safety and productivity at quarry sites.
“In my experience, the team (BreatheSafe) listens to what you are telling them and promptly comes back with a suggested solution; we negotiate specifications, a price is quoted, the work and equipment supplied is cost-effective and of a very high standard,” says Phil Atley, National Construction Grader Product Manager & National Government Business Manager of Komatsu. In addition, theBreatheSafe team prides itself on engineering products that require minimal maintenance such that clients have maximum uptime on their machines.
BreatheSafe also aims to bring its products into industries outside the mining space in the near future. “We can costeffectively customize our systems to suit the needs of users and clients in various environments,” states Johnstone. From conveyors to crusher housings and electrical cabinets, BreatheSafe works to eliminate dust accumulation that could harm machines, let alone operators. The team is also continually working to ensure that their products are not harmful to the environment and are researching air purification methods that do not require disposable filters.