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LED lasers are being deployed to keep mine workers aware and safe

LED laser for mining

mproved spacial awareness assures worker safety and security as they carry out day-to-day tasks, and is an essential investment for staying on the right side of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulation.

These guarantees can be best achieved through technology such as proximity detection devices, as well as by using LED mining lasers.

LED mining lasers, which are able to penetrate thick smoke and dust, allow miners to see through potentially dangerous blackouts.

Carroll Technologies Group supplies a range of such lasers from Laser Tools Co. Inc. (LTC), a leading supplier of LED solutions for the mining industry. These instruments are also specially designed and manufactured in line with MSHA guidelines.

With products shippable from over 13 different distribution centers across North America, over 800 mines rely on Carroll Technologies every day for their mining safety needs. Plus, the MinerCare 24/7 support line is only a phone call away for Carroll’s customers, giving them peace of mind in the knowledge that help is only seconds away.

Carroll Technologies Group supplies a variety of different Strobe laser models from LTC, such as the LED Strobe. The device will flash a bright LED strobe laser every few seconds and is visible from over 100 feet down a mine shaft.

These mining lasers have a red, blue, green and yellow warning light system

The red LED can be used to warn the mining staff of an unsupported roof, while blue LEDs are intended for water distribution. This green light gives users the ability to mark permissible entry points to a mining site with a number of different colors, which can act as beacons in hazardous machinery conditions. Finally, yellow LEDs can be used to mark out man trip and transport vehicles.

The lighting system can also be used as an in-by or out-by directional indicator, or to mark out a refuge center storing a collection of self-contained self-rescuers. Hugely multi-use, it can even be magnetically attached to a backpack or sled to identify a rescue team.

Carroll Technologies is also able to supply the LTC Methane Strobe. This device is used to remind staff to check the methane levels at the rock face every 20 minutes. The bright white LED laser light of the methane strobe remains disabled for 19 minutes, before flickering off and on again every two seconds for one minute, acting as a signal to test methane levels.

Powered by three AA batteries, this device keeps workers constantly aware of their environment and saves on the costs of setting up a fixed multi-gas detector.

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Self-contained self-rescuers: the devices which save lives

Atmospheric Monitoring Devices & Equipment for Mining

Maintaining a proper ventilation system is vital for worker safety, but it’s still important to have emergency breathing apparatus at the ready for crisis situations. There are various devices available to ensure the safety of miners in irrespirable atmospheres, each with their own unique practicalities, meaning mine operators can always be safe in the knowledge that their workers have the most comprehensive protections available.

Plenty of these devices are available through Carroll Technologies Group, a leading supplier of mining apparatus and equipment. Trusted by over 800 facilities across North America, Carroll Technologies Group’s 24/7 MinerCare support team is always on hand to provide support and guidance to those in need. This includes coverage for a full range of self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs), one of the most important devices a miner carries with them day to day.

“MSHA, the regulating body for the mining community, mandates that anyone who is underground has to have an SCSR,” said Carroll Technologies Group’s Josh Johnson.

Why is an SCSR an important piece of mining breathing equipment?

Accidents such as a fire or an explosion can compromise air breathability and leave workers without rescue for some time. They may even be required to make their own way to safety. This makes an SCSR a vital part of the miner’s arsenal.

These easily portable devices provide personal respiratory protection to each individual miner, and should be carried at all times as a safety precaution. The typical SCSR blocks air flow from the nose and the miner instead breathes through the mouthpiece of the device, which oxidises air pollutants and converts them into a breathable format.

This can sometimes feel uncomfortable as the air provided by the SCSR can become very hot and dry, but it’s important no miner sneaks a breath of cool air from around the device – a carbon monoxide concentration as low as 0.5% can cause collapse, unconsciousness, and death in just a few minutes.

Among the market-leading SCSRs supplied by Carroll Technologies Group is the W65 Self-Rescuer Respirator from Mine Safety Appliances (MSA).

This particular device is intended to protect specifically against carbon monoxide poisoning, and weighs only 2.2lbs. Protected inside a rugged stainless steel case, the W65 as a positive hermetic seal and has a total life of 15 years, with an in-service life of ten years. It’s important to note that the W65 is a one-use only device, and should not be used in atmospheres containing less than 19.5% oxygen or which have become polluted by toxic gases and vapours other than carbon monoxide.

Carroll Technologies Group also supplies two SCSRs from Ocenco, the M-20 and the EBA 6.5.

The M-20 is a belt-borne device which comes in particularly useful in tunnels and other confined spaces. At just over six inches square and three inches thick, this is the world’s smallest SCSR, using compressed oxygen to provide respiratory protection for up to 32 minutes. The user can quickly check the oxygen supply through the clear case.

The underground mine self rescuer provides short-term and long-term protection

The EBA 6.5 is a little different to the other two devices. These devices will be stored in bulk in a refuge centre of a mine, which workers can make their way to in the event of a crisis with the initial help of a W65 or M-20. They can then transfer to the larger, closed-circuit apparatus of the EBA 6.5. This device uses compressed oxygen rather than an oxidisation process, making it more comfortable to wear and with a longer window of active use.

“If there was a situation where a mine rescue was going on, the EBA 6.5 would allow up to 90 minutes of operation time straight,” said Johnson. “The device has oxygen in a resting type of situation, so if someone were actually stuck in a mine, if there was an explosion and they couldn’t get out, they could regulate that oxygen on and off as they needed it. They could make it work for somewhere up to 8 hours if they needed to.”

The EBA 6.5 can also be refurbished and upgraded where other devices cannot, with a clear case which allows the user to monitor their oxygen supply.

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Mining safety equipment: appliances and systems for protecting personnel

The US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported 27 mining industry deaths across the country in 2018.

This was the second lowest annual figure ever recorded, but there is still more mining operators can do by employing a comprehensive range of mining safety appliances and systems.

The leading cause of fatalities in 2018 was powered haulage, which accounted for 48% of the annual total. As a result, the MSHA has launched a campaign to educate miners and mine operators on the hazards associated with this equipment.

Mining safety

Mine safety systems such as proximity alert apparatuses are vital to avoid haulage accidents

Alongside investing in sophisticated personnel awareness it’s important operators kit out their mining sites with proximity alert systems.

Proximity alert devices can prevent haulage-related injuries and fatalities by minimizing the risk of collision.

Typically an alarm is triggered when two tagged elements pass too close by each other – eg, a person and a moving vehicle – warning workers so that they may remedy the situation as appropriate.

Carroll Technologies Group supplies PBE’s PAS-C Proximity Alert System, which utilizes electromagnetic sensors and GPS tracking to detect vehicles, obstacles, and personnel.

This allows collisions to be predicted and avoided, and help is always on hand from Carroll’s 24/7 MinerCare support center. Just a phone call away, MinerCare are committed to providing Carroll Technologies customers with the expert product support they need to ensure their facility runs safely and smoothly.

Mining safety appliances are particularly important when it comes to a breathable air supply

Worker safety can also be put at risk as a result of a compromised oxygen supply. The atmosphere in a mine must be regularly monitored for the presence of flammable methane gases and carbon monoxide.

Personnel can be alerted to any airborne contaminants via a multi-gas detector. These appliances can be fixed in high-risk areas to provide constant monitoring or portable to permit a miner to test the atmosphere manually, often before entering a confined space.

One such device available from Carroll Technologies Group is the MSA Altair 4X. This device is triggered by both methane and carbon monoxide, and lets workers know that the air around them is no longer safe to breathe prompting them to don their self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs).

An SCSR is an easily portable device which a miner may carry on their person as a safety precaution – MSHA actually mandates that all workers in underground mines must have an SCSR with them at all times.

Carroll Technologies Group offers devices such as the Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) W65 Self-Rescuer Respirator and Ocenco M-20, both belt-worn devices which miners can quickly strap on in the event of an emergency to protect their lungs from dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide as they make their way to safety.

For more long-term search and rescue operations, Carroll customers can also access the Ocenco EBA 6.5. This is a larger, full-body piece of equipment providing a supply of oxygen for a much longer period of time. These can be stored in bulk in refuse centers throughout a mine. Workers who may be stuck underground for some time can then await rescue using the EBA 6.5 to keep themselves safe.

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Atmospheric Monitoring Devices & Equipment for Mining

Atmospheric Monitoring Devices & Equipment for Mining

Unexpected, harmful vapors can be inadvertently released within a mine without warning, which is why miners need to always be prepared for a potential gas leak or drop in oxygen levels with atmospheric monitoring equipment.

Methane becomes highly inflammable and even explosive at atmospheric levels as low as five to 15%. Carbon monoxide levels as low as 0.1% are liable to cause fatality within just a few minutes, and it can take as little as 30 seconds of oxygen deprivation for a miner to lose consciousness.

Miners can protect themselves against the atmospheric hazards in their working environment by using both hand-held and fixed underground atmospheric monitoring devices for confined spaces.

These include multi-gas detectors, anemometers and diesel particulate monitors (DPMs), all of which are supplied by Carroll Technologies Group.

Carroll has led the North American mining industry for over 30 years and today provides over 800 mines with a broad range of safety equipment. Its customers can also reach out to its MinerCare 24/7™ team, who are continually on hand to offer technical support.

Hand-Held Underground Atmospheric Monitoring Equipment and Air Monitoring Devices

One easily portable confined space air monitoring device supplied by Carroll represents the very highest caliber of multi-gas detection technology – the Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) Altair 4X Detector.

The Altair can be carried day-to-day by miners and will alert the user to the presence of combustibles, toxins and anaerobic environments within 15 seconds of detection.

The detector, which comes with patented MotionAlert™ technology as standard, will activate an alert when no movement is detected from an active user for 30 seconds or longer, should they be injured or unconscious.

Users are also able to manually activate the InstantAlert™ alarm, which utilizes the device’s alarm system to warn others of hazards in the near vicinity.

The ventilation of a mine system also needs to be monitored and managed regularly, and a tool such as an anemometer is vital for doing so. These small, portable devices use wind velocity to measure the volume of air entering and exiting the mine shaft, ensuring there is enough airflow to prevent the accumulation of dangerous gases.

This not only keeps workers safe but maximizes a mine’s efficiency by providing a comprehensive overview of the ventilation system.

Using an anemometer is one of the easiest ways to test air quality in a mine, and can be used to select appropriate ventilation equipment as well as ensure worker safety.

This technology can be used for both quick ad-hoc checks and long-term monitoring of airspaces, requiring minimal technical understanding to operate.

Carroll supplies the ST-1000 Vane Anemometers, portable models ideal for carrying by hand to monitor air quality between mining sites.

Underground Atmospheric Monitoring Devices Sensitive to Diesel

With diesel engines commonplace in the mining workplace, it is vital that workers are conscious of the diesel levels present in their atmosphere.

To this end Carroll stocks the Flir Airtec DPM, which is a lightweight, portable device that can be strapped to a miner’s belt, attached to a vehicle or mounted on a wall in a high-risk area, displaying real-time elemental carbon levels on an LCD screen.

The Airtec system allows miners to modify vehicle use, their positioning or the ventilation system should diesel levels in the environment become too high. It also allows users to monitor the underground site for ongoing diesel overexposure.

Read more: Mining Risks and Hazards

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Mine Safety Consulting and Training

This means you can always be confident in knowing that there’s somebody you can rely on for product servicing, personalized apparatus designs and full safety evaluations.

Carroll’s 24/7 team provide comprehensive service and support including instant access to top-tier mine safety consultants.

Carroll’s technicians are able to provide troubleshooting support, as well as direct access for customers to Carroll’s vast supply of spare parts and comprehensive repair facilities.

Mine Safety Consulting Offers Expert Advice For Every Operation

Carroll Technologies Group also offers personalized solutions for IT infrastructures and communication products. From the implementation of disaster recovery solutions to data network design, Carroll’s experts are on hand to design and install a number of essential solutions.

Consulting and designing in partnership with their clients, Carroll is able to set up IT systems at headquarter locations as well as above ground and below ground field operations. As an authorized reseller of Dell products, customers are able to access the best products available from respected and well-known tech distributors.

A consulting service is vital in establishing and maintaining a mining site, and over 800 mines across North America have used Carroll’s expertise to keep their operation running smoothly and in top condition. Processes such as setting up voice and data communication systems require an intimate knowledge of mining environments, technical expertise and an objective eye.

Carroll Technologies Group also offers a no-obligation mine safety consultation inspection. Expert technicians will pay a visit to any mine or tunneling project across North America.

Carroll isn’t just a distributor of outstanding mine safety products, but aims to make American mines and industries safer and more productive every day through personal and comprehensive support and services

Mining Safety Training & MSHA Certification Courses

Carroll Technologies Group provides comprehensive training courses on the major products in its portfolio, including:

  • MSHA’s electrical safety requirements
  • Hazards of electrical systems
  • Proper care and use of electrical protective equipment
  • Proper installation of personal protective grounds
  • Electrical safe work practices and special precautionary techniques.
  • Our vendor-certified training includes products from Ocenco, MSA, Pyott-Boone and many others from our roster of 80+ partners.

Participants will be introduced to safe work practices and precautionary techniques that will have a major impact on safety in the workplace.

MSHA Training & Certification

It is required by federal law that mine workers receive suitable MSHA safety training and annual refresher courses.

Maintaining an effective mining training plan ensures that workers are following best practices and that equipment is being used correctly, which is essential for keeping miners safe and keeping machinery working efficiently.

To assist miners and operators in meeting their training obligations, MSHA provides materials and guidance to mines and training facilities.

With safety culture and mining equipment continually developing, Carroll Technologies keeps staff informed on proper operational techniques and government regulations with its mine safety training and 24/7 technical support team.