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Fuelled for success with JSG Industrial Systems

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JSG Industrial Systems is here to help the mining industry solve its fuel and lubrication management problems.

Fuel and lubrication are to machinery what machinery is to the mining industry: utterly critical. Without them, the wheels stop turning.

But fuel and lubrication are challenging areas to manage. Inconsistent maintenance, improper equipment and human error are just a few of the many factors that can lead to spills, leaks and contamination. And in an environment like a hot Australian mine site, the associated accidents can be catastrophic.

When the stakes are so high, it’s important to have an expert like JSG Industrial Systems in your corner. 

Leaks and spills

These hazards are most commonly seen in areas where fuels and lubricants are stored or transferred, such as fuelling stations, storage tank areas and maintenance workshops.

“They are also common around heavy machinery and vehicles, including excavators, trucks and conveyors,” JSG told Safe to Work.

According to JSG, improper handling during transfer between storage tanks to machinery is one of the most common causes of spill and leak incidents. Equipment failure is another common cause, with the degradation of hoses, pipes, tanks and seals leading to such incidents. 

Fuel and lubricant can also escape due to poor storage practices, and when tanks are unsuitable for the contained substance, overfilled, not correctly maintained, or corrode in harsh environments.  

There is also a significant human element to fuel and lubrication management, with worker fatigue exacerbating the risks of leaks and spills. 

“Fatigue impairs a worker’s alertness and situational awareness,” JSG said. “In a mining environment, where constant vigilance is required to monitor fuel lines, tanks and equipment, reduced awareness can lead to missing early signs of leaks or spills.

“Handling fuel requires precise physical coordination, especially when connecting and disconnecting hoses or operating valves and pumps. Fatigue can diminish these motor skills, leading to mistakes that cause spills.

“In the event of a minor spill or leak, quick reaction is key to containment. Fatigue slows reaction times, potentially turning small issues into larger incidents.”

Given fuel is often highly flammable, spills and leaks pose a significant fire and explosion risk. Direct exposure to these substances through skin contact or inhalation can also be a health hazard for workers. Slippery surfaces caused by spills also create a slip hazard. 

Spills and leaks can also contaminate the environment, damage equipment and disrupt operations. 

In mining operations, lubricants are crucial for the smooth and efficient operation of machinery. However, these lubricants can become contaminated, which can in turn have detrimental effects on equipment.

“Given the nature of mining operations, dust and dirt are prevalent contaminants,” JSG said.

“They can cause abrasion and wear on moving parts, reducing the lifespan of equipment and increasing maintenance costs.”

Water, metal particles, fuel and other fluids like coolants are also common contaminants on a mine site. These contaminants can cause wear and tear, increased maintenance costs, corrosion, reduced lubrication and even equipment failure. 

JSG Industrial Systems offers a range of fuel and lubrication management products specialised for heavy-duty working environments to help eliminate these risks.

Flomax fuel nozzles

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Flomax products provide a leak-free means for workers to transfer large volumes of fuel at high flow rates. Image: JSG

Flomax fuel nozzles provide a leak-free means for workers to transfer large volumes of fuel at high flow rates.

The nozzles feature an automatic shut-off mechanism that activates once the fuel reaches the tip of the nozzle or the tank is full. This prevents overfilling and subsequent spills. The design includes a sealing mechanism that closes immediately after fuelling, minimising the risk of drips when the nozzle is removed from a tank.

Flomax fuel nozzles can also reduce harmful vapour emissions by sealing the tank during refuelling. This not only helps in preventing spills but also minimises the release of volatile substances into the environment.

“These nozzles are compatible with various sizes of fuel tanks, which translates to efficient fuelling and spill prevention across diverse applications,” JSG said.

“With an ergonomic design and comfortable grip, the user-friendly nozzles reduce the likelihood of accidental spills caused by operator fatigue or handling errors.

“And, critically, the nozzles are built to handle the harsh conditions of the mining industry, maintaining their effectiveness over time.” 

Flomax non-pressure fuelling systems

Unlike other fuelling systems that rely on pressure build-up in the tank, this system is pressure-less, removing the need to pressurise the fuel tank or use splash filling techniques.

“Since the fuel is introduced at the bottom of the tank, the likelihood of splashing or overfilling is reduced leading to a safer and cleaner refuelling environment” JSG said.

“In pressurised systems, there’s always a risk of over-pressurising the tank, which can lead to spills, leaks or even ruptures.”

These systems are also equipped with an automatic shutoff mechanism that can detect when the tank is full, preventing overfilling and further enhancing safety and reducing waste.

Spectrum oil containers

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Implementing a colour-coding system helps in easily identifying different types of lubricants to prevent mishandling. Image: JSG

Spectrum oil containers are designed with a wide base and low centre of gravity for maximum stability. 

“These containers have easy-to-operate spouts and contoured surfaces that work together to reduce the risk of accidental spills during transport and pouring,” JSG said.

“The ergonomic design can also minimise strain on the workers, reducing the risk of spills caused by physical fatigue or awkward handling.”

Spectrum containers can be equipped with a variety of lids ideal for controlled and precise pouring, rapid pouring of oils and breather vents that easily twist to provide hands-free control. These features reduce the risk of lubricant contamination and spills during filling and lubricant dispensing.

But perhaps the most unique feature of Spectrum is its colour-coding system. The nozzle and breather vent of Spectrum oil containers come in up to 100 different colour combinations.

“Implementing a colour-coding system helps in easily identifying different types of lubricants, reducing the chances of using the wrong product and the subsequent mishandling that might lead to spills,” JSG said.

“Using different containers for different lubricants not only prevents spills but also reduces the risk of cross-contamination between different types of lubricants, which can be harmful to machinery.

“Along with colour-coding, clear labelling on containers can provide essential information like the type of lubricant, handling instructions, and safety precautions, further reducing the likelihood of errors that could lead to spills.”

Hose reels

JSG stocks a broad range of heavy-duty hose reels to strengthen a mine site’s fuel-management system. 

“Reels are a practical and effective tool for reducing spills and leaks in mining, contributing to better hose maintenance, enhanced safety, and operational efficiency,” JSG said.

Utilising a hose reel means hoses are better protected from kinks and twists, as well as environmental wear from ultra-violet exposure, extreme temperatures, and abrasive surfaces. 

JSG reels feature controlled retraction mechanisms, helping to ensure hoses are retracted slowly and smoothly. This prevents the hose from snapping back, which can cause wear or damage.

“When hoses are stored on reels it can help to maintain the integrity of connection points, which are common sites for leaks,” JSG said.

“And when hoses are neatly stored on reels, it’s easier to inspect and perform maintenance on them, ensuring any potential issues are identified and addressed promptly.”

There are many challenges associated with managing fuel and lubrication on a mine site, with mishandling having steep consequences for workers, operations and the environment. Luckily, JSG Industrial Systems is hard at work keeping Australian mine sites free from dangerous leaks and spills. 

This feature also appears in the March-April issue of Safe to Work.

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