Mining safety equipment producer Rattlejack has launched a high-speed, high-impact plugging device for underground mining from Victoria’s own backyard in Bendigo.
The device, called SafetySpear, helps protect workers and machinery from being hit by falling drill rods that are abandoned during previous operations and hanging precariously above work areas.
SafetySpear operates in a similar way to a car airbag, resolving a life or death situation in a fraction of a second and has the ability to catch weight thousands of times its own.
The device, which was showcased at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne is light enough to lift with one hand.
Alternative solutions are more costly, more time consuming and disrupting mining schedules, according to Rattlejack.
The company stated the product was an example of how Victorian mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies were providing a complete product package from concept to production.
“What we’ve developed is an easy to implement safety product that will save lives and provide greater ground access because dangerous areas are made safe,” Rattlejack director Leigh Sutton said.
“The SafetySpear solves a safety issue that has never had a reliable remedy. There’s nothing close to it in design or concept, which means it could be eligible for a standalone 20-year patent.”
The 60-centimetre long device can avoid issues created by moving large equipment in and out of confined spaces underground.
The SafetySpear is made operational using existing mining machinery.