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The Importance of Effective Breathing Air Systems in Mining and Underground Environments

brattice ventilation curtains for mining

Why Are Air Filtration and Dust Collection Systems Needed?

Dust emissions pose a threat to workers, as well as the efficient functioning of equipment and processes, so effective breathing air systems for confided spaces are a must for any mining operation.

Air filtration systems capture dust particles, significantly increasing the quality of air. Additionally, collecting dust reduces the amount of mining throughput that may be lost during operations. Up to 1% is lost during cement installations, meaning seven tonnes would be lost every hour at a 700TPH quarry.

How to Choose the Right Breathing Air System for Your Operations

There are a number of areas throughout a mining system where dust is generated, including crushers, conveyor belt transfer points, truck dumps, bin filling stations and transport loading.

Air filtration is needed in these areas to capture lost throughput, but it is also essential when these areas are in confined spaces to protect mining workers well-being.

When choosing where to locate filtration systems/dust collectors, operators can choose between close to the primary source (any of the above locations where materials are dropped to generate dust) or a central location, to which dust will be diverted for filtration.

Operators must take into account that dust particles generated during mining operations can be extremely abrasive and cause damage to filters if using a central filtration system.

When choosing their dust collecting system, air patterns and velocity, as well as dust distribution, must be taken into consideration.

Collected dust must be removed at regular intervals to prevent blockages, secondary dust emissions and damage to equipment.

Additionally, central systems will rely on hoppers and ducting to divert air to the system from the dust generating source.

Source locations pose other potential issues. Water and oil may be present in dust if the filter is close to operating equipment. Consequentially, to avoid filter abrasion, breathing air filters should be placed as far from the equipment as possible to avoid unnecessarily high dust loading.

Donaldson Dust Collectors

Donaldson manufactures a number of breathing air and dust collection systems for confined spaces.

Donaldson Torit advanced-technology cartridge dust collectors and filters are optimized for industrial dusts. They are primarily used in the pharmaceutical, chemical, bulk powder, food and metal sectors.

The Downflo Evolution (DFE) dust collector is an industry-leading piece of equipment, which will significantly reduce the size and quantity of filtration machinery that is required by up to 40%.

The company’s Torit PowerCore dust collection technology uses proprietary Ultra-Web nano-fiber technology. This requires a much smaller and more efficient filter, taking up less space on location. Despite its small size, this filter can handle high air flow and abrasive dust particles.

Donaldson offers a comprehensive range of efficient and robust baghouse collectors, including the Dalamatic, Unimaster and Syvac.

The automatic Dalamatic is a reverse-jet fabric filter dust collector. It can be used for continuous process applications that involve heavy-duty product recovery, which produce large concentrations of dust.

The compact Modular Baghouse dust collector is a dependable system supplying continuous-duty, pulse-jet operation.

Donaldson works with a global network to provide industry-leading filtration solutions to its customers.

Carroll Technologies distributes these safety-assured breathing air filters and dust collectors to the mining industry as part of its manufacturer network of more than 70 companies across the globe.

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Mining Rescue Packs & Equipment: Protecting Your Underground Workers

Self-contained self-rescuers (SCSR), for example, are used by workers in mining and tunneling operations. This type of mining rescue equipment provides users with oxygen when it becomes insufficient in the atmosphere or the breathing environment is hazardous.

There are two forms of rescue packs; respirators, which oxidise carbon monoxide, and oxygen sources, which comprise a chemical oxygen generator or a compressed oxygen cylinder.

Also known as emergency escape breathing devices (EEBD), mining rescue packs are essential to the safety of workers in the event of emergency incidents such as explosions, mine roof collapses or gas leaks.

Mining Hazards and Safety Advancements

Mining safety has advanced significantly in recent years, with developments in solutions such as early gas detections, air filters and refuge chambers; however rescue packs are still a necessary part of safety culture and the go to product when it comes to mine rescue equipment.

The primary cause of the release of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide in underground tunneling and mining operations, are explosions.

Following such an incident, it is imperative that workers have a safe oxygen source that can last for the duration that they are trapped underground with unsafe or insufficient air.

Carroll Technologies provides safety solutions to the mining industry worldwide, including a range of rescue pack equipment.

The W65 Self-Rescuer Respirator by MSA is a hands-free device that can provide the user with oxygen for up to four hours. It is simple to equip and contained in a hermetically sealed stainless steel case, which offers an in-service life of ten years.

Another certified manufacturer in Carroll Technologies’ distribution network is Ocenco, which specializes in reliable respiratory protection for the mining and tunneling industry, as well as for military, industrial and offshore applications.

Ocenco Respiratory Protection

Ocenco provides a range of rescue packs for the mining industry, namely the M-20 SCR, the M-20.3 CCER MINING, the EBA 6.5 SCR and the EBA-75 CCER.

The M-20 SCR is a belt-wearable SCSR designed for mining and tunneling operations. It is field proven and simple to use, and can be equipped in less than ten seconds to ensure that the user does not go without safe oxygen.

Ocenco’s M-20.3 closed-circuit escape respirator (CCER) is a compressed oxygen delivery system that automatically activates when removed from its case, which is clear to enable visual assessment of operational readiness.

Users can inhale from the device immediately after it is equipped, providing up to 100 liters of oxygen flow during high work rates.

The self-contained EBA 6.5 is a closed circuit breathing system that uses compressed oxygen instead of generating oxygen from chemicals.

This piece of apparatus also has a clear case for visual inspection and a demand regulator for immediate inhalation. The oxygen valve can be manually adjusted and provides the user with up to eight hours of respiratory protection.

The EBA-75 is a CCER. It also comprises a clear case, immediate inhalation properties and 100 liters of oxygen flow. It offers a user-at-rest procedure than provides trapped miners with respiratory protection for up to 6.5 hours.

Carroll Technologies distributes Ocenco products and a whole host of other mining rescue equipment across North America, including 800 mining and tunneling sites across the continent.

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Providing Public Safety DAS Systems in Tennessee and Across North America

Depending on the State, these systems must comply with its jurisdiction’s safety regulations. Tennessee requires full compliance with IFC and NFP codes of practise.

DAS or Emergency Responder Radio Coverage (ERRC) technology is used in large buildings and facilities, as well as underground structures such as tunneling operations.

These communication systems amplify radio frequency signals to notify first responders, including medical, fire and police services, in the case of an emergency.

Carroll Technologies, leading provider of mining and tunneling equipment, now provide a range of essential public safety DAS systems in Tennessee and across the US.

How Do DAS Systems Work?

Distributed antenna systems (DAS) boost radio frequency across a network of antenna nodes using a bi-directional amplifier.

Originating from the donor antenna, the distributed antenna network is dispersed across a large building or facility to ensure that RF coverage is provided wherever it is needed.

There are two types of DAS systems; active and passive.

An active system distributes the signal via a fiber optic cable to remote units which then pass the signal on to the antennas to boost signals across the required route.

A passive system comprises a bi-directional amplifier, coax, splitters and diplexers to carry the radio frequency signal.

Public Safety DAS Systems in Tennessee

Public safety DAS systems ensure that first response emergency services can maintain clear and reliable communication with public-use facilities or working locations, including mining and tunneling sites.

ERRC/DAS technology enables emergency responders to communicate with each other to collaborate and provide an efficient and unified service in the case of fires, security threats or an emergency.

The National Fire Protection Association (NTFPA), International Fire Code (IFC) and Tennessee Government have building codes in place to ensure that DAS systems keep in line with safety regulations.

DAS Technology Provided by Carroll

Carroll Technologies is a supplier of mining safety equipment across North America. The company provides a number of safety certified DAS systems from its distribution network of manufacturers, including G-Wave Solutions, SOLID, Wilson Pro, SureCall and Pyott-Boone.

Carroll Technologies is also a leading provider of safety equipment for more than 800 mines in the United States.

Its diverse range of communication solutions supports operations across the mining, tunneling and construction industries.