The Smart mining revolution

Beatriz Sanz Baños    22 November, 2019

The integration of IoT in smart mining manages to connect its employees with their work environment, providing different benefits that reduce the percentage of accidents.

Since its inception, safety has always been one of the major concerns in mining. Although security measures have increased in the past years, they still do not seem to be enough to remove this problem that causes serious accidents.

To mitigate the risks to which workers are exposed, mining companies are incorporating Internet of Things (IoT) technology into their processes. This technology allows companies to identify and reduce possible damage to personnel that, until now, were almost inevitable. In this way, an improvement in working conditions is achieved allowing anticipation of possible incidents and increasing the safety of workers.

The integration of IoT in smart mining manages to connect its employees with their work environment, providing different benefits that reduce the percentage of accidents.

How do you get it?

Internet of Things, through the installation of various sensors, allows the collection, processing and analysis of the data so it the variables can be studied later and the worker has all the information available at any time.

Mine workers carry a wearable device that integrates sensors that detect and collect everything that happens underground as well as in open pit mines, and send it in real time to a data center. On the one hand, this system allows the tracking of each miner and work machinery, avoiding personal accidents and possible collisions between vehicles. On the other hand, it makes a prediction of possible problems, such as the collapse of a well, proactively responding to the problem.

It is essential to take special care with the air conditions inside the mine. In this way, through a system of sensors that measure air toxicity, miners can know when it is safe to return to the mine, for example, after an explosion that can produce harmful gases. In this way, not only is security improved, but time is optimized by avoiding long waits which increases production.

Companies that have used this technology have already reduced the risk of disease by 40%, equipping their employees on their drilling rigs with mobile devices that track their activity and exposure to dangerous products, ensuring that each worker has the necessary time to rest.

In the Internet of Things area of ​​Telefónica and through our IoT Activation Program, we collaborate with EnGiDi, creator of a device aimed at improving the occupational safety of workers in hazardous jobs and large infrastructures by monitoring their movements in real time. EnGiDi is able to measure the thermal stress to which the worker is exposed, the height to which he is or to warn of falls that he may suffer, with the aim of improving occupational safety. In addition, they have an alarm button to alert of risky situations.

Thanks to NB-IoT connectivity, it is possible to send the data to a digital platform for real-time visualization by the occupational risk control units, thus being able to study the behavior patterns to implement more efficient work routines from the Security point of view. All this helps to prevent mishaps and reduces reaction times and accident intervention, something that can be decisive in saving people’s lives.

By connecting each worker with their environment, Internet of Things improves security by studying the risks, incidents and potential accidents. In addition, it saves time and costs for companies, significantly improving the working conditions of people working underground and transforming occupational accidents into a problem of the past. A breakthrough to help smart mining and ultimately connect people with what really matters to them.

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