Three ways Conuma Coal is smart about safety

We all know mining is dangerous. Multiple factors can lead to an accident even with traditional precautions in place. So how do you mitigate risk and keep your people safe?

This year Conuma Coal signed a multi-year subscription deal for Hexagon’s MineProtect safety solutions. Here are three ways you can learn from Conuma.

Conuma Coal’s Wolverine Mine earned British Columbia’s 2019 Edward Prior mine safety award. (Photos top and above – conumacoal.com)

Create a culture of safety

Conuma Coal has a reputation for safety. The Canadian company has won the provincial government’s Edward Prior Award for Mine Safety two years running. With more than 800 employees, Conuma wants to provide long-term security for everyone by maximizing safety with optimum productivity.

“We believe that our employees are our greatest asset that we have,” said Cody Bartkoski, Conuma Coal’s former continuous improvement and technologies manager. “We wanted to reinforce with our employees that this was a safety decision, that we were not focused on disciplinary action and that it would truly make their work environment safer.”

Building a culture of safety starts from the top and doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a high level of planning to execute properly. Consider implementing a channel of communication so that employees understand that safety decisions are in their best interest and not a form of punishment. A safety culture also requires training and education. Think about making a program so people on the ground are confident in the safety systems and understand how they work.

Be proactive

The key to staying ahead of accidents is recognizing existing flaws. This requires being proactive through accountability, consistency and a focus on solutions when minor events occur.

“We had a series of near-miss incidents from equipment damages and fatigue events,” said Bartkoski. “We identified an opportunity to be proactive and get ahead of those before a catastrophic incident occurred.”

But how do you know when near-miss events occur without a system to track them? Our collision avoidance system (CAS) helps Conuma detect these events using GNSS and RF technologies. CAS helps Conuma manage incidents across their three surface mines in British Columbia.

Invest in digital solutions

Conuma Coal realized it had little insight into certain hazards. By implementing Hexagon’s solutions, it could create a much safer work environment and move closer to its goal of long-term security.

“We purchased the fatigue management system for all of our haul trucks at our three sites, the collision avoidance system for our production fleet and light duty fleet, and we see the MineEnterprise solution providing us the ability to drive the benefits from those other two systems,” Bartkoski said. “We will be able to geographically map the events that occur and look at our haul roads and intersections to identify areas that need improvement based on the frequency and severity of the events.”

Our fatigue solution, MineProtect Operator Alertness System uses computer vision technology to detect, alert and report fatigue and distraction events. Used in tandem with CAS, these technologies help Conuma stay proactive and reinforce its culture of safety. MineEnterprise helps track all this information digitally so that Conuma can identify trends and prevent incidents before they happen.

Watch the full video here.

 

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