Jon Noble – Health Safety and Training Manager, Glencore – Clermont Open Cut Mine
In February 2017 a Coal Mine Worker (CMW) was injured when a hydraulic hose fitting failed under pressure during the use of a hydraulic flow meter. The CMW was positioned inside the pump room and was undertaking the task of a hydraulic tune up. The task requires a calibrated flow meter to be installed in line with the main hydraulic pump system to read the hydraulic flow and pressure the machine is producing. The operator of the flow meter is required to manually adjust the flow meter by hand and watch the pressure and flows on the meter, making it impossible to be out of the line of fire. On the day of the incident a hydraulic fitting failed at the flow meter under 50bar of pressure and shot back contacting the maintainer in the knee luckily only causing minor bruising. During testing procedures the maximum pressure ranges up to 300bar.
The implementation of a data logging system that reduces the need to have a person inside the pump room during hydraulic testing. There are two pumps to each main pump. Each pump can now be “turned on” remotely via an electronic remote control. The first individual pump can be cycled and loaded through all curves required to satisfy testing and the change to test, then the second pump can be tested via the flick of a switch. Load to the pumps is applied proportionally through a remote control lever on the test box remote and the pump performance can be seen by the operator outside of the pump room. If adjustments need to be made to the pump regulators the pump is destroked to minimum flow and
to standby pressures using the remote control lever. Once the adjustments have been made the operator can once again remove themselves from the high pressure hose area inside the pump room and return outside and complete the tests again.