When operating heavy mining vehicles, no matter where on site, first-class safety systems and procedures are essential.
Without proper fire protection, workers canbe exposed to extreme dangers, leading to potential loss of life, as well as equipmentand assets.
And a burnt out truck causes a seriousamount of unnecessary downtimes.
With this in mind fire protectionspecialist Wormald is urging mine site management and mine vehicle operators tobe aware of the risks and to ensure fire suppression systems are installed onall mining vehicles.
Steve Oxley Wormald’s national product manager for Vehicle Fire Suppression Systems explained that “mining sites see a vast number of heavy vehicles, plant and equipment being operated every day, and these heavy vehicles have significant ignition/heat sources such as energised wiring and turbochargers. With the potential for onboard goods to add to the fuel load, it’s clear that the risk of a fire while in operation can be high.
“It is essential that vehicles are fittedwith a suitable fire suppression solution that is best suited to their firerisk. Heavy vehicle operators must also understand the risks involved in their role and how to ensure their safety should a fire break out in or on the vehicle they are operating”, Oxley added
To minimise this danger Wormald hasdeveloped a range of vehicle fire suppression systems (VFSS), for differenttypes of mining vehicles.
The system provides early detection and warning to allow time for the driver to safely evacuate, while at the same time quickly suppressing the fire to minimise damage to the vehicle.
The Wormald Foam Water Spray VFSS consists of high pressure, small droplet nozzles which discharge a continuous stream of foam water spray at high risk areas, such as engine and transmission compartments, and hydraulic areas.
The system utilises the fire suppressing and containment features of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF).
The ANSUL A-101 Dry Chemical Vehicle FireSuppression System discharges a multipurpose dry chemical agent known as Foray into the risk area to suppress the fire.
These systems can be designed to flood entire volumes with dry chemical agent or aim at specific high-hazard areas.
In accordance with AS 5062, Wormald provides a fire risk assessment process which assists in determining the most appropriate system to use for each vehicle application. Another major component of AS 5062 is the regular inspection, testing and preventative maintenance and survey activities for the VFS systems, to help ensure a system is fully functional and will perform as designed if a fire occurs.
Oxley continues, “Vehicle operators should also be fully trained on how to manually activate the vehicle fire suppression systems when necessary and how to use any fire protection equipment located in their vehicles, such as portable fire extinguishers.”