New drill-monitoring system evaluates strata strength in real time.
Utt-WK; Miller-GG; Howie-WL; Woodward-CC
Trans Soc Min Metal Explor 2003 Jan; 312:87-92
The process of roof drilling and bolting is one of the most dangerous jobs in underground mining. In the United States, roof drilling and bolting results in about 1,000 accidents with injuries each year. Researchers from the Spokane Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are studying the feasibility of using a drill-monitoring system to estimate the strength of successive layers of rock and assess the integrity of a mine roof. Such a system would allow roof drill operators to be warned when a weak layer is being drilled. Using measurements taken during drilling, a neural network can classify mine roof strata in terms of relative strength. The concept has been proven in principle. This research project was undertaken to increase the safety of underground miners, especially those involved in roof bolting. The system should be applicable to the mobile drills now used in underground mines, and the system would likely find wider application as well.
Coal-mining; Mining-industry; Occupational-hazards; Mine-workers; Mining-equipment; Miners; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-practices; Worker-health; Workplace-monitoring; Rock-mechanics; Rock-bursts
Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration