As more continuous miner operations install proximity detection systems, developers are providing additional options
In March, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) proximity detection rule became fully effective. It requires underground coal operators to equip place-changing continuous mining machines with proximity detection systems (PDS), which use electronic sensors on both mining machines and miners to detect motion or the location of one object relative to another. The rule also mandated certain operational standards, such as audible and visual warnings, and it stops the machine before contacting a miner.
Most of the provisions of the final rule could be met by making minor system changes, such as adding warning signals. Two popular systems in the U.S. are provided by Matrix and Strata Worldwide. By providing a warning zone and defining a danger zone, they help train miners to avoid hazards while working near continuous miners.
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