With the enormous investment placed in large open-pit mines, the pressure is on these operations to produce. Inevitably, this dictates that they work around the clock. However, working at night does present some very real potential safety hazards which are not present during the hours of daylight.
This is according to Craig Swart, Fleet Manager at Rand-Air, the leading local provider of compressed air and power to the mines, as well as to many other industry sectors.
“The most serious potential hazard in an open-pit mine – even during daylight hours – are the very large load-hall-dumpers, excavators and rope shovels used to excavate and transport broken ore. Apart from vehicle headlights, better all-round area lighting is an absolute necessity to ensure safe operations,” says Swart, adding that having clear, strong area lighting means that drivers of off-the-road mining equipment will be able to pick up the reflective strips on a pedestrian’s safety vest with much greater ease.
Rand-Air has the solution in its portable LED lighting units.
“As these units are fitted with LED bulbs, they are remarkably economical and will run for days without requiring refuelling or any other attention. In addition, modern LED bulbs last longer and fail less often than their earlier filament counterparts, and can handle harsh mining conditions without burning out prematurely,” Swart explains.
As the diesel engine, generator and lighting tower are all contained on a single trailer, there are no trailing cables to either get cut, damaged or trip over. Furthermore, as they are mounted on a robust trailer, moving them to new positions as mining shifts in the pit, takes a matter of minutes.
What makes Rand-Air portable lighting units an even more attractive rental proposition is that the company regularly upgrades its equipment fleet with new machines. In addition, Rand-Air lighting units are all manufactured by world leader Atlas Copco and, as such, these units deliver the most cost-effective, lowest maintenance service.
Rand-Air portable lighting units are also backed up by the company’s unmatched service ethic. In the unlikely event of an issue with one of these machines, Rand-Air’s qualified technicians are on standby 24/7 to ensure that full lighting is restored without delay.
Speaking to the all-important requirement for safety at all times – particularly within the mining environment – where occupational health and safety challenges are amongst the biggest causes of injuries and fatalities – Swart makes the following recommendation:
“Outdated lighting units in any industry that are not operating at a satisfactory level pose a serious threat to the working environment and its people. A preventative maintenance strategy is therefore critical, to guarantee safe operation of the equipment – and is key to minimising the risk of injuries or accidents.”
Rand-Air lighting units are available for short-term hire, as well as via the company’s long-term rental scheme which allows customers to take advantage of considerable cost savings.
“In the past couple of years, our portable lighting units have been a boon to the surface mining industry. With proper lighting, workers can concentrate on getting the job done and being more productive, but in a well-lit and therefore far safer environment. In a nutshell – and true to our Rand-Air business ethos – we always place our customers in a ‘favourable light’,” he concludes.