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High Potential Incidents Involving Trailing Cables at Surface Mines

2024-06-21
Latest company news about High Potential Incidents Involving Trailing Cables at Surface Mines

Mining operations, particularly at surface mines, are fraught with potential hazards, many of which involve trailing cables. These incidents are often dramatic and can lead to significant risks, including power interruptions, exposed electrical conductors, and potential injuries. Below, we delve into several high-risk scenarios involving trailing cables, illustrating the urgency and danger of these situations.

 

 

 


 

 

Rock Falls and Cable Damage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. **Rock from Dragline Bucket**

 


- **Incident:** Imagine a massive rock plummeting from the back of a dragline bucket. The rock strikes the trailing cable with immense force.

 


- **Consequence:** This powerful impact not only trips the power to the machine but also violently tears the cable, exposing live electrical conductors. The scene is perilous, with sparks flying and the immediate risk of electrical shock or fire.

 


 

2. **Rock Dislodged from Chains**

 


- **Incident:** As a dragline bucket returns to the pit, a rock precariously balanced on its chains suddenly dislodges and crashes onto the trailing cable.


- **Consequence:** The force of the impact splits the cable cover and the cable itself, laying bare the conductors. This creates a hazardous situation where workers must quickly respond to prevent electrocution or further damage.

 


 

 

3. **Cable Cover Pipe Incident**


- **Incident:** A rock falls and lands with a deafening thud on the cable cover pipe, which is protecting the trailing cable.


- **Consequence:** The rock’s weight causes the cover pipe to split, and the impact shreds the cable, revealing the conductors. This exposes a high-risk scenario where any contact could lead to severe electrical injuries.

 


#### Equipment Movement and Cable Contact

 

4. **Shovel Relocation**

 


- **Incident:** During the relocation of a massive shovel, the towering machine inadvertently drags across the trailing cable.


- **Consequence:** The sheer force causes the cable to trip at the substation, laying bare the live conductors. This scenario demands immediate attention to prevent potential electrical shocks and restore power.

 


5. **Cable Tractor Operation**


- **Incident:** A cable tractor operator, unaware of the cable's incorrect positioning, clamps down with the mechanism, crushing the insulation.

 


- **Consequence:** The insulation is pierced, causing arcing and sparks. This incident results in severe damage to both the cable and clamp, highlighting the extreme danger of arcing, which can lead to fires or explosions.

 


 

6. **Dozer Operation and Cable Stretching**

 


- **Incident:** A dozer operator, mistakenly watching the wrong cable loop, stretches the 22kV trailing cable apart at a splice joint.

 


- **Consequence:** The cable violently snaps, leading to a catastrophic interruption in power and a highly dangerous situation with exposed live wires.

 


Poor Visibility and Mismanagement

 

 

7. **Dozer Operation During Cleanup**


- **Incident:** In poor visibility conditions, a dozer operator fails to see the cable loop properly and picks it up with the machine.


- **Consequence:** The sudden jerk trips the power to the shovel, causing a dangerous electrical fault and potential damage to the cable, which necessitates urgent repairs.

 


 

8. **Dragline Cable Crossover Damage**

 


- **Incident:** While crossing over a dragline cable at a steel cable crossover, part of the dozer track enters the crossover opening, crushing the cable.

 


- **Consequence:** This results in a dramatic and destructive scene where the cable is severely damaged, leading to immediate power loss and significant safety hazards.

 


Natural and Mechanical Forces

 

9. **Rock Dislodged by Dragline Chain**


- **Incident:** A dragline chain dislodges a smaller rock, which then sends a larger rock rolling down the dragline bench, striking the trailing cable.


- **Consequence:** The impact is severe, causing substantial cable damage and exposing electrical conductors. This incident requires urgent intervention to mitigate the risks of electrical shock and restore functionality.

 


 

Preventive Measures and Safety Recommendations

 

 

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

 


- Conduct frequent and thorough inspections to identify any signs of wear, damage, or potential hazards.

 


- Implement a stringent maintenance schedule to ensure cables are kept in optimal condition.

 

 

 


 

Proper Handling and Storage


- Ensure that cables are handled and stored correctly to prevent mechanical damage and environmental exposure.

 


- Utilize protective covers and barriers to safeguard cables from potential hazards.

 

 

Training and Awareness


- Provide comprehensive training for personnel on the proper handling and management of trailing cables.


- Promote awareness of the risks associated with trailing cables and the importance of following safety protocols.

 


 

Use of High-Quality Cables

 


- Invest in high-quality trailing cables designed to withstand the harsh conditions of mining environments.

 


- Ensure that cables meet industry standards and are suitable for the specific requirements of the mining operation.

 

 

By addressing these potential incidents with effective preventive measures and safety protocols, mining operations can significantly reduce the risks associated with trailing cables and ensure a safer working environment.

 

 

For more detailed guidance and updates on safety protocols, refer to the full safety bulletin available on the RSHQ website