Mining equipment is used in severe operating conditions, such as very dusty environments. It is therefore important for you to buy electrical mining equipment that has inbuilt features that reduce the risks that maintenance personnel can face as they service and repair that equipment. This article discusses some of the design features that can increase employee safety.
Thermography Scan Windows
Maintenance workers are often exposed to electrical hazards when they open the equipment in order to trace defects, such as overheating, to the source. Those workers risk touching a component, such as a transistor, which is still energised even when the equipment is off. Thermography scan windows can reduce these safety risks. Workers can simply use a thermal scanner to locate the defect without having to disassemble sections of the equipment.
Terminals and connection points also pose additional electrical shock hazards for maintenance personnel who may be under pressure to bring damaged mining equipment back into service within a short time. In their haste, workers may touch terminals that are still conducting electricity. Equipment and worker safety can be endangered by such a risk. Some equipment manufacturers now design mining equipment with touch-proof terminals to limit such risks. This can be achieved by enclosing the terminals in a non-conductive material so that accidental contact is avoided.
Maintenance workers may face fewer risks if they don't have to repair or troubleshoot electrical mining equipment frequently. Some faults in electrical equipment can be attributed to the uneven flow of current through that equipment. Current flow can be affected by several factors, such as contaminants that create more resistance in conductive systems. The installation of protective devices that regulate the magnitude of the current flowing through sensitive components, such as motors, can reduce the frequency of malfunctions due to power fluctuations. Employees will therefore have less exposure due to greater electrical system reliability.
Arc-flash can be triggered when something drops on an energised component of the electric mining equipment. For example, a tool can drop accidentally during maintenance work. The resulting arc-flash can cause extensive damage to vulnerable components. The employees can also be injured during such an accident. Having arc-rated mining equipment can reduce the severity of the injuries or damage sustained when a conductive object makes contact with energised equipment accidentally.
Equipment reliability and employee safety can be improved when you have mining equipment that has the design features above. Ask an electrician to recommend the features that can be installed retrospectively so that your current mining equipment poses fewer reliability and safety risks.