Daily Mining Inspections using Paperless Solutions

For all industries, businesses and
organisations it is essential to keep a structured and organised working
environment. In the mining industry, as is the case in many other industries,
certain disparities in employee recklessness or improper maintenance of their
workplace can have possibly fatal consequences. This is why it is imperative to
have a thorough daily work environment inspection. This inspection checklist
can maintain safety standards in each workplace zone at the mine site, as well
as helping all those in the control room, office, camp to keep their work in
check too.

A
daily or working shift inspection should be completed by a supervisor, manager
or appointed competent employee and can include checks such as inspection of
work areas and bays for spills or untidy sorting; inspection of walkways and
emergency signage; identify , assess and analyse risks, inspection of lighting
and barricading or inspection of appropriate washing facilities. All these
factors can be instantly checked via use of mobile device features such as the
camera which gives the inspector the ability to take pictures and annotate them
using the touchscreen. Using attached reference material in the form of
previous reports, manuals, drawings or ideal conditions, it is much easier for
inspectors to visually establish if the check passes or fails or there is any
risks presented. Like wise for inspection of other factors such as PPE
(Personal Protection Equipment) or emergency equipment, the smartphone or
tablets’ camera can be used to scan barcode/RFID to ensure that they match the
compliance requirements detailing the PPE or emergency equipment’s issue or
use. Where there are deficiencies, risks or issues like problems in safety kits
or protection equipment, there is the possibility for the inspector to record
problems via general typing or speech-to-text services. When marking a failure,
risk or issue, this can result in a trigger notification to the relevant
parties who can react in real time and for example choose to shut down certain areas
or operations.

This principle can of course likewise be
applied to any general equipment or specialised piece of mining equipment that
may be in use. Daily checks should monitor the wear of the equipment when
compared against the historical records and cradle to grave lifecycle tracking
available via the back end web-portal part of the paperless digital solution.
Reported failures can just like the safety equipment trigger notifications and
corrective actions for relevant parties, like maintenance and repair teams
advising them what needs fixing, or for management who can calculate ROI or
life cycle costing and contemplate replacement and future equipment investment.
Daily mining inspection can in this way increase the information knowledge that
is available between inspectors and teams operating, maintaining or purchasing
equipment. This is highly useful when trying to reduce company waste, which can
often be a costly part of operations that are inefficient. Daily inspection
solutions can keep a closer track on how much waste is being produced, reused
and recycled into processes, whilst also making sure that it is being
segregated and disposed of properly. Tracking employee, contractor, equipment
and process performance can help management to better see what is working well
for the mine and what is not contributing as much as was planned. This helps
manager to make important strategic decisions and plan long-term.

Daily inspection solutions don’t have to be
limited to methods and safety equipment however, they can also be used to
improve existing inspection and integrated with other checks. Pre-start checks
for heavy machinery is one such checklist that greatly benefits from having a
daily or shift inspection. This means the likelihood of a fault occurring and
persisting to the point of irreparable failure is greatly reduced, as is the
case with most other processes and equipment. However for heavy machinery and
heavy vehicles, the replacement or repair process can of course be
significantly more costly both monetarily and time wise. In this sense it is
hence perhaps even more important that inspectors implement daily inspections
when using the most valued or crucial equipment, assets and vehicles. For such
inspections, heavy machinery can make use of all the regular inspection
functions of a mobile device as already outlined, improving the data entry
speed and reliability of reporting. This can like all inspection checklists be
hosted either via the cloud (SaaS) or in-house using private servers. Hosting
in this manner allows for miniscule physical storage requirements compared with
filing cabinets, as well as the obvious improved access capabilities. Access to
mining compliance, reports and data can be attained anywhere, anytime. Using a
simple web-portal login, users and auditors can be provided with the
information they need instantaneously. This improves the audit trail by making
it clearer, as well as providing optional analytical capabilities (if existing
business intelligence is not already integrated).

When selecting an inspection method for
your daily inspection consider how you need to integrate it into your other
systems. After establishing this, its best to choose a trusted provider with
experience in the field including interfacing with in house systems. 

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