Standards address mine safety

December 7th, 2017, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: PositionIT, Featured: PositionIT

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has recently published two notable standards pertaining to mine safety: ISO 19434:2017 Mining – Classification of mine accidents; and ISO 17757:2017 Earth-moving machinery and mining – Autonomous and semi-autonomous machine system safety.

Classification of mine accidents

ISO 19434:2017, which is applicable to all surface and underground mines, establishes a classification of mine accidents by their origin or causes, by the type of accident, and by their consequences on people (not equipment or machinery).

Different categories of causes, types and consequences of mine accidents are briefly defined, and a three-digit code is assigned to each category. These can be combined to ultimately allocate a unique 15-digit code to each type of mine accident. This code can then be used in statistical analysis. Similarly, an allocated code clearly shows to which categories of causes, type of accident and resulting consequences the mine accident belongs to.

Autonomous and semi-autonomous machine system safety

ISO 17757:2017 provides safety requirements for autonomous machines and semi-autonomous machines used in earth-moving and mining operations, and their autonomous or semi-autonomous machine systems (ASAMS). It specifies safety criteria both for the machines and their associated systems and infrastructure, including hardware and software, and provides guidance on safe use in their defined functional environments during the machine and system life cycle. It also defines terms and definitions related to ASAMS.

The standard is applicable to autonomous and semi-autonomous versions of the earth-moving machinery (EMM) defined in ISO 6165 and of mobile mining machines used in either surface or underground applications. Its principles and many of its provisions can be applied to other types of autonomous or semi-autonomous machines used on the worksites.

Safety requirements for general mobile EMM and mining machines, as well as operators, trainers or passengers on the machine, are given by other international standards (e.g. ISO 20474, ISO 19296). ISO 17757 addresses additional hazards specific and relevant to ASAMS when used as intended. It is not applicable to remote control capability (covered by ISO 15817) or function-specific automated features, except when those features are used as part of ASAMS.

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