Extra layer of safety at Gold Fields mine
Hexagon collision avoidance alert system installed at Tarkwa Metal Tech News – January 6, 2021
Last updated 1/5/2021 at 5:17pm
Gold Fields' Tarkwa Mine in Ghana is safer thanks to collision avoidance and operator alertness systems developed by Hexagon, a global leader in sensor, software, and autonomous technologies.
"This will augment our existing safety management system as it serves as an additional layer of safety intervention to help prevent injuries and fatalities, as well as equipment damage," said Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa Alfred Baku.
Hexagon's mining division equipped more than 220 vehicles at Tarkwa with its MineProtect collision avoidance system, which provides 360-degree proximity detection via a non-intrusive cabin display unit for all mining vehicles, assets, and operators in open pit mines.
Hexagon says this technology fits well on any digital road map because all the data is transmitted to its operational management system, where it is combined with data from other safety and operational systems to present comprehensive access to the data for informed decision making.
Such systems include MineProtect's operator alertness system, personal alert, and tracking radar, which were also installed at Tarkwa.
Operator alertness is an integrated fatigue-detection, alerting, and reporting solution that helps mining machinery operators maintain the level of attention necessary for long hours and monotonous tasks.
Personal alert is an accident-avoidance device worn by field personnel that ensures 360-degree visibility of pedestrians around heavy equipment. It offers an additional layer of safety to operators and pedestrians who must deal with the daily dangers of blind spots, noise, heavy traffic, and poor visibility.
Despite pandemic lockdowns that prevented Hexagon's South Africa staff from entering Ghana, the company was able to get these safety systems installed with the help of local partners and modern technologies.
"Tarkwa staff's willingness to adapt to the limitations imposed by COVID-19 was hugely important," said Andrew Crose, vice president of autonomous in Hexagon's Mining division. "The resourcefulness displayed by everyone involved was impressive. It ensured that we completed the project with minimal delays – almost to the original project dates!"
The time and capital investments are expected to pay safety dividends at the Tarkwa gold mine.
"We will continue to explore new and innovative ways to improve safety and ensure that our employees return home to their families safely every day," Baku said.