Health and Safety CONFERENCE

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Real-time Bund Monitoring

Tom Cobcroft
GM/SSE Capcoal Surface Operations

Dev Gil-Sanchez
Business Improvement Specialist, Anglo American – Capcoal Open Cut

Anthony Manousso
Control Systems Coordinator, Anglo American – Capcoal Open Cut

Bunds are a safety critical control in open pit mining to prevent and mitigate risks associated with heavy vehicle operations. Between 2014-2019 at Capcoal Surface we have had 14 incidents and in Queensland 2012 – 2018, 47 incidents where bunds have stopped uncontrolled vehicles and prevented potentially fatal injuries. At Capcoal we have 100km+ of bunds in the pit, with more than 50 heavy vehicles interacting regularly. Currently the process to monitor & audit the compliance to standard is made via visual inspection with no quantitative process or records.

In a collaboration with SICK sensors we developed a system using laser sensors to scan the bunds and provide a comprehensive measurement including not only height but:

  • Roadside facing batter angle.
  • Width at the top, if applicable, trapezoidal bunds.
  • Distance to high-wall.

Data is transmitted via ethernet to a central data collection system called TDC which then generates a heatmap and a report identifying sections of bund requiring intervention and their criticality.

Some of the benefits of this development, besides measuring all characteristics mentioned before are:

  • Is an objective and quantitative process to monitor / audit bunds compliance to standard in real time.
  • Cost and time efficient solution as to comply with inspectorate recommendations then survey would be required, incurring in extra cost to audit.
  • Visibility across all active bunds and ranking of deficient sections to prioritise as per criticality.

Next is presented an schematic of the sensors installed on a truck and scanning the bunds at both sides.