Dust management, Features, Safety systems and solutions

HELLA is casting a beacon of safety


HELLA’s latest work lamp for mining vehicles is helping reduce operator fatigue, eye strain and safety incidents.  

Proper lighting is essential to mining operations that run at all hours of the day and night. But to the woe of many, its importance is matched by its complexity. 

According to Safe Work New South Wales, poor lighting can lead to eye strain, headaches, fatigue, musculoskeletal issues from straining to see, psychological issues, and increased risk of injury from slips, trips and falls, particularly around machinery. 

At the other end of the spectrum, excessive lighting and glare can similarly cause eye strain, vision damage, discomfort and fatigue. 

While the risks are many, good lighting can bring a whole slew of benefits to a workplace. Proper lighting improves safety, minimises fatigue, allows employees to work more efficiently, enables precise and accurate work, and provides a more comfortable work environment. 

And when it comes to mining, workers are never more at risk than when operating around heavy machinery, so getting lighting right in that space is critical. 

That’s where HELLA, a lighting solutions provider for mining vehicles, comes in. 

HELLA is a supplier of lighting and electronics, including premium-quality work lamps for heavy industries. The company’s latest product to hit the market, the RokLUME 280N SMART, is ideal for vehicles in surface and underground mining. 

The RokLUME 280N SMART is a work lamp that can change colour to maximise visibility depending on the environment it operates in. The lamp comes in three variants: white to green lighting, white to amber lighting, and white lighting only. 

While white light is most commonly found on a work site, in many circumstances it can actually hinder an operator. Green and amber lighting, on the other hand, are both better suited to dust, snow, and fog, making them ideal supplements to white lights. 

Amber light cast from the RokLUME 280N SMART. Image: Hella.

“Mine sites operate in a range of weather conditions like dust, rain and fog,” HELLA product manager Jigar Patel told Safe to Work. 

“White light is easily reflected in these conditions, making it very difficult for the operator of a mobile asset to see what they are doing. This also creates glare, which causes eye strain and fatigue.

“But RokLUME’s amber and green lighting can penetrate those harsh conditions, significantly improving visibility for an operator.”

On the safety side, the RokLUME 280N SMART makes mining vehicles more visible to workers and other vehicles, reducing the risk of a collision. And by reducing glare with green or amber light, eye strain – a significant cause of fatigue – is reduced for workers. This is particularly relevant to mobile plant operators, who account for the vast majority of fatigue-related accidents on mine sites in Australia. 

“The colour temperature of the lamp can also be changed between warm and cold lighting,” Patel said.

“It has a range of 3000K [Kelvins] to 6800K, meaning the lights can be adjusted to best suit the time of day.

“This is another feature that optimises visibility and minimises eye strain for operators.”

The lamp, which pumps out up to 3500 lumens, can also be adjusted for brightness. 

“Some mine sites require work lamps to be on 24 hours a day, so making sure they run efficiently can benefit a company in many ways,” Patel said.

“Because brightness can be adjusted on the RokLUME 280N SMART, the lamp can run in low-power mode through the day. 

“That means less strain on the lamp, reduced power usage, and reduced carbon emissions.” 

All of these features can be adjusted with ease with inside the vehicle using either the HELLA control panel or the machine’s native dashboard, depending on how the RokLUME 280N SMART is installed. Settings can be saved using the system’s memory function. 

The process of installing the RokLUME 280N SMART is low impact. The control unit sends signals to the lamps via existing cables, so all of the machine’s original wiring is preserved. 

RokLUME 280N SMART installed on a mining machine. Image: Hella.

The RokLUME 280N SMART also features zero-glare capability, which ensures that light does not blind oncoming drivers. A sharp horizontal cut-off serves to direct the light onto the ground in front of the vehicle instead of towards oncoming vehicle operators.

HELLA is giving its mining industry customers more control over their lighting than ever before. The RokLUME 280N SMART’s adjustable features are helping operations run more efficiently, reducing operator fatigue and – most important of all – keeping workers safe. 

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

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