RFD Technologies has, in partnership with Fire Rescue Safety Australia (FRSA) won two significant mine safety contracts with Rio Tinto for their KME and Kestrel underground mine sites.
Involving the supply of all breathing air requirements including breathing apparatus (BA), storage/response cabinets, quick fill stations, breathing air filling systems and supporting test equipment, the contract has been awarded on the basis of safety, engineering excellence, performance and quality.
RFD will manufacture the Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus Storage & Response Stations (CABASS) and Quick Fill Stations (QFS) at its Sydney facility.
The CABASS and QFS are used in tandem underground close to the workface to provide breathing air capability for miners who need to quickly respond to an underground situation or evacuate the underground mine.
In the event of an incident underground where air quality deteriorates, miners simply remove the BA from the Storage Station, strap the unit to their back and begin breathing quality air via the full face mask of the BA set.
QFS is designed to support evacuation with units strategically deployed throughout the mine and exit passageways to enable the miners to stop and rapidly refill their BA set via a special quick connect coupling. Once the BA is refilled, the miners continue their evacuation, refilling along the way to ensure safe exit.
Designed and developed locally with emphasis on the customer’s needs and the harsh environment in which this equipment must operate, CABASS and QFS units have to withstand the rigours of frequent movement from various locations and remain underground for up to five years before being returned to the surface for planned inspections and maintenance by RFD qualified staff.
The RFD CABA Storage Station currently has the capacity to hold between 6 and 40 breathing apparatus units with the option of inclusion of breathing air for top-up or response purposes.
The RFD Quick Fill Station has the capacity to recharge up to 70 BA sets, with each BA charge delivering about 1 hour of breathing time to the user. When depleted, the RFD QFS station simply requires a recharge from a high pressure breathing air compressor.
RFD designs, develops and manufactures CABASS and QFS units at their Sydney facility, offering the flexibility and control to accommodate individual customer needs, be it for small units to fit in tight areas or large combination units to meet complex requirements.
The CABA and QFS rapid charge stations are being increasingly sought after by OHS, Safety and Operations Managers across a number of industries.
According to Martin Dowling, General Manager - Sales, RFD, FRSA/RFD is supplying a complete package to Rio Tinto’s two mines, which includes the CABASS and QFS units, breathing air filling system, training equipment and essential training on equipment usage and maintenance.