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Boarding Vehicles

Discuss About The Dangerous Activities Be Undertaken During.

Boarding vehicles: There is never a guarantee that one will reach safely in his/her destination. However, there are often greater chances of arriving safe. Therefore, this is considered dangerous activity as there are slim chances of being involved in an accident.

Climbing heights- This is also a risky activity that we are likely to engage in as we attempt to discover the machineries that are often placed slightly above the ground. There are risks of missing steps. Besides, we are likely to be exposed to moving objects such as loaded conveyors.

Walking on the shop floor (aimlessly) – There are normally earth movers working at the site 24 hours per day (of course with work shifts). Now, there is a risk of being hit with a moving vehicle if safety is not observed by the visitor.

Some surfaces may be oily due to the nature of work at the specific stations. For example, it is common to find spilt oil at the boiler section; therefore, should one not be keen while walking around, chances of skidding are very high.

In some sections of the mine, we are likely to navigate rugged terrain (ugly landscape as a result of the mining activity). Although some are normally protected zones (especially large manholes), however, expectedly, one if not careful, may trip and fall into the small ditches and ground patches.

Normally, it is required that only those who have safety training should access the workshop. However, due to human miscalculations, one may be hit with a flying object such as a metal piece as production shop floor is often a buzy place and objects flying may be one of the common occurrences.

(b) HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CHOSEN ACTIVITY

FIRE- This can be due to electric faults, flammable materials and substances such as fuel at the site.

CHEMICAL INHALATION- Visit at the field may expose us to inhalation of dangerous chemicals in confined spaces especially with poor ventilation.

SHARP OBJECTS- carelessly stored objects with sharp insertion and edges may be hazardous to the workers and visitors should one skid on the floor where these objects are placed.

NOISE

It is expected that noise will be in plenty at the site. Noise is a major cause of occupational conditions such as hearing problems and breakdown in communication which may lead to other forms of hazards springing into action such as fire.

Climbing Heights

VIBRATION

Like noise, prolonged exposure to vibrations may be very harmful to our bodies as they cause Musculo-skeletal diseases and nerve damages. Vibration at the site is expected and this will come from moving vehicles, rotating machine components and drilling actions among others.

EXTREME TEMPERATURES

There are sections whose ambient temperature may be greatly uncomfortable for visitors. Our bodies cannot sustain certain temperatures ranges. Exposure to extreme temperatures can be a great risk.

ELECTRIC SHOCK

Mainly naked wires are the major causes of electric shock. Although we are likely not to handle the wires and cables, however, it is one of the identifiable hazards as exposure to it can cause great damage to our bodies.

DIMLY LIT ROOMS

Dimly lit rooms especially in underground tunnels where iron ore deposits are often accessed may lack sufficient natural lighting and as a result cause visibility problems and hamper work-related activities.

DUST

Iron ore mining produces a lot of dust that is harmful to the humans as it is among the major causes of occupational diseases such as lung cancer among the mine workers. 

S/NO

ACTIVITY (Dangerous)

Controls

Rating

1

Boarding vehicles

Safe driving

2

2

Climbing heights

Use of guides and guiding sticks

1

3

Shop floor walking

 Safety boots

1

4

Floor skidding

Safety boots

1

5

Rugged terrain skidding

Guides

2

6

Milling around flying objects

Helmet, eliminate hazard

1,5

7

 QN 2) Summary of the geology that describes formation of the Pilbara iron core deposits

-It dates back to ancient times when there was a vast deposit of dated Zircon mineral grains at Jack Hills. Besides, some mineral deposits would be found along the Narryer Terrane as a result of sedimentation process. This is the current Swan Coastal Plain. It is estimated that these iron ores could be as old as 4.4 billion years (Geology for Investors, 2018). 

-Formation of the banded iron can be explained as that which originated from the archaic cratonic nuclei that progressively grew into larger cratons and ultimately into supercontinents.  This occurred about 130million years ago. In this era, that major minerals were formed in Western Australia; hence apart from the iron ore, there are other mineral deposits encountered in the region such as gold, nickel, heavy mineral sands, diamonds and bauxite. It is estimated that the mineral deposits at Pilbara mines could be 2.5billion years old. Besides, in some literature quarters, it is postulated that these mineral ores could have come as a result of volcanic eruption which caused them to be nearer the earth surface. Due to weathering and other geological processes, various chemical deposits were banded with magnetite, cementite and haematite to form the rich iron ores (Mining Technology, 2018).

Microbes are organisms that facilitate both chemical and biological changes in the earth substances to turn into valuable minerals. It is believed that these microorganism normally take in iron same way humans take in oxygen and after oxidation, they respire the iron oxides which are then either dissolved or suspended in the nearby water body (which could be either an ocean or a river). Once they find their way into water bodies, and as weather changes continue, and due to accumulation in the water body, they tend to be precipitated on the now dry river beds and as a result form the impervious iron ore.

Walking on the Shop Floor

QN 3) (a) Purpose of the IROC centre in Perth

The major purpose of IROC centre is to provide centralized state-of-the-art real-time control of the mining operations in the BHP company; it is built with modern infrastructure integration and therefore, it provides meticulous working environment such that key performance indicators are projected on several large screens. Hence it provides an opportunity for near-100% mining system and facility availability for continuous monitoring and coordination hence maximizing installed system capaity and reduced variability.

(b) Operations at the IROC centre control 

-Real-time performance monitoring. Performance of the field activities are closely followed to ascertain compliance with the SOPS (Standard Operating Procedures)

-Process performance variation. In this case, it is expected that there will be process variations. These are checked and identified in a continuous basis.

-Compliance assessment fortified with operational benchmarks. Based upon the observations, the centre determines whether all the standard requirements have been met or not. Workplace safety is one of the parameters that the centre examines as work ensues in the field.

-Performing continuous improvement in iron-core-mining especially in reduction of carbon footprints. Because of the highlighted issues, recommended improvements are to be pursued within the confines of the standard requirements.

-Performing remote sensing of field activities and reporting. Video and sound capturing is done and this is projected on large screens. Normally, sensing is done to keep track of the activities and alert the authorities of impending danger. 

-Data capturing and relay to build on the existential communication infrastructure such as CCTVs and radio system. Data is normally captured and used for analysis and reporting.

-Management of mine fleet. Fleet management system is normally embedded in the entire infrastructure such that efficient fleet control is attained. In large and complex mines, it is expected that there will be several activities that may be challenging to control. However, with an appropriate system in place, IROC has realized tremendous gains in terms of cost and ease of doing work. In fact, this has contributed positively to mines work place safety.

(c) Why BHP decided to build an IROC centre in Perth

BHP is in the process of revolutionizing its key operations in the mining sector towards boosting worker safety and profitability. In that regard, they built IROC centre to increase its real-time visibility across Pilbara hence helping grow further the volumes of production of Iron ore while being extra mindful of the overall safety concerns associated with the activity. They are modernizing the existing remote control infrastructure through capacity expansion and growth. Hence centralized location of Perth provides an edge in real-time control of the mining operations remotely across the covered area of Pilbara Mines.

(d) Summary of the major mining and processing methods used for iron ore production 

-The major miming method is open cast. The ores are in abundance near the surface hence the method is the most suitable. However, in some cases, deep pit mining method has been employed. However, choice would depend on the geological make-up of the area under mining. Once the ores are extracted from deep underground, they are transported to the processing centers via a rail track system. They are poured and ground to small particles in a primary crusher. Next stage is screening, where they are graded based on the grain size. High grade haematite has a grain size of about 30mm and magntietite grain size is about 6mm (Sutherland, 2014). They are then separated via gravity. The iron core can now be transported to the steel manufacturers for further treatment via a heavy loaded railway system.

(e) What new hazards and workplace issues associated with this mining system

 The deep underground method would normally be accompanied by collapse of weak rock structures and flooding which exposes workers to secondary hazards such as falling objects and sinking man-holes. However, the system is normally fortified with metal shafts such that they resist the probability of shaft wall collapse; although this is quite expensive for a small mine.

References

Geology for Investors. (2018). Iron Deposits – Banded Iron Formations (BIF) | Geology for Investors. [online] Available at: https://www.geologyforinvestors.com/banded-iron-formations-bif/ [Accessed 31 May 2018].

Mining Technology. (2018). Channar Iron Ore Mine, Pilbara - Mining Technology. [online] Available at: https://www.mining-technology.com/projects/channar-iron-mine-pilbara/ [Accessed 31 May 2018].

Sutherland, K. (2014). Mining: Filtration prospects for the iron ore mining industry. Filtration + Separation, 51(6), pp.29-32.

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