Mining Hoist Systems and Safety: A Guide

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Mining systems heavily rely on hoists to transport equipment, personnel as well as mined ore to the surface. As such, the hoisting system is the core productive element in the mining industry. Due to this, it’s essential to investigate the mining hoist systems available to you, as they can solve core challenges faced by mining companies such as productivity rates, energy consumption rates and the overall safety of production.

Why Are Hoists Important in Mining Applications?

Mining refers to the extraction of valuable minerals or materials from the Earth. In the case of sub-surface (underground) mining, the mine hoist acts as a bottleneck between the mine and the surface. The correct selection of hoisting equipment, as well as consistent condition monitoring, is imperative to ensure both productive and safe mining operations. Due to the high hourly capacity of hoists, hoist downtime in mining applications can be extremely costly.

For example, in 2009 at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine in South Australia, a failure in a hoists braking system resulted in a production fall of 75%. This cost the company close to $200 million in idle capacity costs and forced the temporary closure of the mine.

Most Common Types of Mining Hoists

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The two main types of mining hoist equipment used today are the drum hoist and the friction hoist. The drum hoist physically stores the chain or rope during its hoisting cycle whereas, the friction hoist or drum drive works as a lever to pass the chain or rope over the wheel. Both pieces of equipment have unique benefits for each individual application.

Mining Equipment Safety Features

Winch Hire Australia’s diverse range of mine hoists features the latest technology, including:

  • Process control systems
  • Variable speed drives
  • Electric motors
  • Controlled braking systems
  • Temperature control
  • Limitations of travel
  • Rope and safe equipment protection

Importance of Constant Monitoring

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All of these safety features are programmed to work collaboratively, reliably and efficiently. As such, it’s essential that all working parts are regularly tested to provide protection against serious incidents. Constant monitoring is essential to maintain these safety standards, and even if you believe your hoisting system is working correctly, there is potential for underlying issues to be present. When undergoing regulatory monitoring, closer inspection may be required if the hoist is displaying:

  • Mechanical or tread wear compensation
  • Drift in the duty cycle
  • Abnormal noises
  • Change in emergency deceleration rate during an emergency stop
  • Changes in running temperatures, motor or bearings.

Winch Hire Australia’s Safety Compliance

Due to the rigorous mining site stipulations and requirements, we understand the importance of adhering to safety standards. This is why we implement a scheduled maintenance programme which includes annual load testing, brake hold testing and certification for our entire fleet of winches and hoists. We also offer a convenient WHS compliance accreditation service. To find out more, visit our page, Annual Load Testing, Brake Hold Testing and Certification.

Most Popular Mining Hoist

Our most popular piece of hoisting equipment used in high-risk explosive environments is our 30-tonne air chain hoist with 12-meter chain drop.

This air chain hoist provides a safe and affordable method for pulling, lifting or lowering above and/or below ground. With robust enclosed housing, this pneumatic chain hoist is compact, relatively lightweight and sure to make handling and moving on your next job site easy. Winch Hire Australia has the longest chain drops available in Australia, and offer modifications to suit your specific requirements, so you can always rely on us to sort the best solution for your needs.

Equipment Range

Our entire range of mining equipment can be found online here:

Continuous Support

Not only do we offer mining hoist equipment for hire, but we also provide backup services and technical support to ensure your project goes ahead smoothly. Winch Hire Australia offers customers continuous support by:

  • Upgrading existing hoist equipment
  • Offering quality assure spare parts with quick delivery
  • Offering VOC training courses

Contact Winch Hire Australia

Winch Hire Australia has remained industry leaders for over twenty years due to our experience, service skills and commitment to safety. To find out more about what makes us specialists in hoisting equipment, read our blog, Brisbane’s Leading Hoisting Equipment Specialists.

If you’re in need of a mining hoist or any other mining lifting equipment, get in touch with us to see what we can do for your next project.