The South African subsidiary of global mine safety solutions provider Strata Worldwide has experienced exceptional growth since its entry into the local market four years ago, providing a solid indication of the local industry’s drive towards zero harm and the pivotal role that technology has to play in miner safety.
Strata Worldwide is headquartered in the United States and provides products, services and technologies that promote a high level of safety and productivity in the mining and energy sectors.
These include advanced proximity detection and collision avoidance systems, wireless communications,asset and personnel tracking,shaft clearance, gas detection and emergency refuge chambers.
“When we began supplying these products to the local market in 2011, we had just four employees. This number that has since grown to 158 along with a rapidly expanding and technologically advanced product offering,” said Jonathan Metcalf, general manager of SP Mine Safety South Africa, the Pretoria-based distributor of Strata Worldwide products to the region.
Metcalf addressed representatives of major South African mining houses, senior members of the Department of Mineral Resources and the Mine Health and Safety Council as well as contractors and original equipment manufacturers at a recent open day hosted in the Witbank coalfields.
“These open days not only offer us an excellent opportunity to showcase and demonstrate our products in action, but have become a traditional meeting place for members of the mining community. These include policymakers and industry thought leaders who provide delegates with both relevant and insightful information on the latest trends in mine safety,” says sales manager – coal sector Craig Franck.
“The focus of the day is to keep delegates informed of the latest technological advancements incorporated into our products and related legislative safety requirements,while encouraging active participation in discussions and the sharing of ideas.”
Metcalf explained how Strata Worldwide has achieved both international and local success with its Hazard Avert technology designed to prevent incidents and accidents caused by interaction with man and machine, one of the leading fatal agents in the mining sector worldwide.
Using a magnetic field, the proximity detection and collision avoidance system is effective in slowing down or stopping equipment when a person or vehicle enters the ‘danger zone’ around moving machinery.
“It has been installed on 485 electrical machines, 220 diesel machines and 14,700 personal alarm devices (PADs) in South African underground coal mining environments. Hard-rock systems are also on trial at 25 sites worldwide.”
The product can also be applied to surface and opencast mining equipment and has been installed on 280 machines and 3,000 PADs in South Africa.
Strata Worldwide has also acquired the distribution rights for the Australian GPS-enabled Intelligent Collision Avoidance System (ICAS). This provides real time, 360°situational awareness for surface machine operators, eliminating blind spots and heightening safety from pit to port.
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