Mobile equipment fire management receives a helping hand
Despite ongoing improvements, hazards still create exposure for mobile equipment fires in both surface and underground mining if not well controlled through adequate designs and management practices.
Following an extensive industry consultative process, involving mining company representatives, original equipment manufacturers, regulators, fire detection and suppression system providers, fire system designers, academics and researchers, EMESRT, today launches Performance Requirement 4 – Mobile Equipment Fire Management.
The objective of Performance Requirement 4 (PR-4) is to provide structured and comprehensive information that can be applied by:
– Designers and Original Equipment Manufacturers
– Mining companies – Mobile Equipment Users
– Suppliers of fire detection and suppression systems to reduce the number and consequences of mobile equipment fires in earth moving equipment
The key outputs of the work identified credible failure modes that can be applied to current and future:
1. Mobile equipment design
2. Mobile equipment maintenance
3. Fire detection and suppression systems
4. Operating company emergency and crisis management
EMESRT first turned its attention to mobile equipment fires in 2007, when it published an initial Design Philosophy 4 focussing on fire. The design philosophy aimed to support equipment manufacturers to develop equipment in ways that reduce the risks of fire.
In 2018, EMESRT noted in industry data that the level and consistency of the fire related incidents were still compelling and recognised that the mining industry needed a step change to improve its performance in mobile equipment fire management. EMESRT formed an internal working group to review the existing design philosophy (DP-4) which identified that the depth of guidance in DP-4 needed further supporting detail and the decision to develop a more detailed Performance Requirements document was taken by EMESRT. This led to the Mobile Equipment Fires Management Project being established in 2019.
The Equipment Fires Working Project stakeholders comprise a broad industry cross section including mining companies, original equipment manufacturers, regulators, fire detection and suppression system providers, fire system designers, academics and researchers. The group had a mandate to:
1. Identify design inadequacies and industry best practice
2. Review current research and identify gaps
3. Consult across the industry and share knowledge
4. Develop and promote documentation to support self-assessment and risk reduction
EMESRT Advisory Group member and Project Lead, Mr Mark Geerssen said the mobile equipment fires management project focused on ways to understand and mitigate harm related to equipment fires as much as reasonably practical, including using design to address foreseeable human error.
In developing PR-4, the Working Group applied the EMESRT Control Framework approach.
The working group has put a lot of time and effort into understanding the fire problem and this resulted in the development of PR-4. Recently approved by the EMESRT Advisory Group, PR-4 is ready to be released to the industry.
Finalising PR-4, in consultation with industry stakeholders, is an important milestone for the EMESRT Equipment Fires Working Group. PR-4 contains potential fire hazard management information that we hope the industry finds useful,’ Mr Geerssen said.
In early 2022, further resources will be made available to the industry focusing on mobile equipment fires management:
- Updated Design Philosophy 4 – Mobile Equipment Fires
- Control Framework structure and content
- Self-assessment Review Guideline
- Knowledge Hub (monitoring and updating)
Mr Geerssen expressed his appreciation to the working group members for their time and effort and thanked the EMESRT Advisory Group for their support throughout the project.
PR-4 is available via the EMESRT website Resources page.
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