Mining & Minerals Product Review May/June 2018

1 ISSN 2219-0880 R133.00 NEW PRODUCTS • DEVELOPMENTS • TECHNOLOGY • INNOVATIONS VOL 11 NO 2 BRINGING BUYER AND SUPPLIER TOGETHER May | June 2018 Keeping cool, calm and hydrated underground By Dineo Phoshoko Working in an underground mine is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world; the possibility of a fatal rock fall is a reality faced by many mine employees, as is dehydration and heat stress. Working in an underground mine operation is a very labour- intensive job in addition are the extreme and dangerous conditions faced by mine employees regularly. South Africa is known for having some of the world’s deepest underground mines, with depths of up to 3 000m. Understanding and dealing with heat stress and heat stroke became proactive and took steps to method of heat acclimatisation was and up to 1ℓ per hour in mines with address the heat stress challenge followed by a research programme extremely hot temperatures. Many The first heat stress related death in – with the introduction of heat aimed both at obtaining a better mine sites rely on bottled water or South Africa occurred in 1924, at a acclimatisation in 1925. In his paper understanding of human heat municipal water if available. gold mine. After the fatality, the industry Schutte states that the, “Rudimentary tolerance and at developing improved heat acclimatisation procedures.” According to Schutte, heat stress A new solution: Hydros Water Purifiers management (HSM) is one of the One of the best ways to deal with solutions to dealing with heat stress heat stress underground is for mine and heat stroke underground. He employees to keep cool. While mine lead to extremely hot temperatures. describes HSM as, “A multi-faceted operators ensure that a mine has the Underground mines in South Africa approach to promoting health, safety can reach high temperatures over and work performance through 40°C and these conditions can be minimizing human heat strain and the physically taxing on the body, with incidence of heat disorders.” The further you go underground can a high potential of heat stress and Drinking water on mine sites dehydration. Access to clean and cool drinking In Petrus Schutte’s 2009 paper titled ‘Heat stress management in hot water is one way mine employees mines’ he explains that occupational can keep cool while working heat stress is considered a health under extremely hot temperatures and safety hazard in South Africa’s underground. Unfortunately access mines. “The consequences of high to quality drinking water on African occupational heat loads can be mine sites is a major concern. A expressed in terms of impaired work shortage of drinking water combined capacity, errors of judgment with with high underground temperatures obvious implications for safety and and a physically strenuous working the occurrence of heat disorders, environment can lead to dehydration especially heat stroke, which is often and heat stress in mine employees. fatal,” he says. “Miners suffer high levels of Continued on page 8 PAGE 1 16 13 PAGE 10-year period shows that the origin MineARC general manager. 2 5 8 14 16 for any underground mine operation, between strenuous work, suspect however the facilities and technology heat tolerance, excessively hot are not easily accessible. “An ideal environments and concurrent dehydration. On the basis of this analysis, a basic framework with the following elements can be derived for work practices in ‘hot’ environments.” main causal factors are interactions system will be treated cold and readily available mine water,” Lincoln says. He also adds that on average, most mine employees consume The Hydros 150-litre water purifier has an air-cooled condenser. www.miningandminerals.co.za | Interact with your industry Events and Exhibitions Always a winner with MTE and Chicago Pneumatic very common,” explains Mike Lincoln, Chilled, treated water is essential Transport / Mobility feature Improvement in surface mining technology dehydration and poor hydration is of heat stroke is multi-factorial. “The Cover story feature Keeping cool, calm and hydrated underground the occurrence of heat stroke over a Schutte explains that a review of FEATURE PRODUCTS  Health and Safety Management Mining and Engineering Sustainability Transport / Mobility between 3 to 5ℓ of water per shift, May | June 2018 • Mining & Minerals Product Review