Australian manufacturer and engineering exporter Leussink Engineering has designed a solution to ensure increased safety in a long-time problem area for the underground mining sector. The Illawarra based manufacturer services the mining, construction, rail and shipping, and smelting sectors.
Leussink designed and manufactured a simple and effective solution to eliminate injuries and danger from falling roof mounts that fix hydraulics systems.
Director of Leussink, Mr Jason Leussink explained that the problem involved a tiny component in an industry more associated with giant-sized equipment; the entire safety scenario around this relatively tiny piece was being overlooked.
According to Mr Leussink, the small lever activates hydraulic power in the process needed to fix roof bolts, with the traditional position of the control lever having made it a potential trigger for accidents.
The lever, which activates the hydraulics for power and operation in the process of roof bolting, is mounted on the hydraulic manifold. Since underground mining operates at a relatively low ceiling height, the lever is mounted on the manifold at leg level; when accidentally bumped, the lever would suddenly engage and activate the hydraulic valve and pump energy through the conduit.
In turn, this would cause a roof bolt to release, which could fall down from the roof height and land on the finger, foot, or head of a worker and cause a severe crush injury, or even amputation.
What Leussink did was engineer a completely new design, which added a spring-loaded safety lever requiring two different movements – one upward movement followed by a secondary, lateral movement before it operated. The moment the lever is released by the operator, it drops back safely into the ‘off’ position. This locked resting position prevents the lever from engaging when it is bumped accidentally.