Mining operators and workers trust that the materials and equipment they use are reliable, safe, and accurate; elements that are critical to safety and production.
The Mine Safety Laboratory, near Newcastle NSW, are the leading experts in mining related testing services. They assist the mining industry to comply with their regulatory responsibilities, understand and minimise risk, and ensure that materials and equipment perform as they are designed to do.
‘In some cases, we are working with life-saving devices and you have to be able to count on them,’ explained Dr Greg Browning, Laboratory Manager.
‘The work conducted here at the Mine Safety Laboratory includes testing for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) as well as examination and analysis of materials and equipment for mining operators.’
Dr Browning explained some of the work performed at Mine Safety Laboratory.
Understanding and managing the risks associated with the accumulation of a static electric charge, fire initiation, fire propagation or toxic products of combustion helps ensure that control measures are implemented at site.
‘We have a long history of performing Fire Resistant Anti-Static (FRAS) testing according to Regulator guidelines to assess the FRAS risks of non-metallic materials in different uses. These include products such as ventilation sheeting, conveyor belts and accessories, and materials that are polymerised underground,’ said Dr Browning.
The Mine Safety Laboratory is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) for multiple tests and is the only facility in Australia to be accredited to undertake the oxygen index test.
The Mine Safety Laboratory is also the only facility in Australia equipped to test and examine self-rescuer units to the standard set out in the NSW Resources Regulator’s Technical Reference Guideline “Escape Breathing Apparatus for Underground Mining Applications – Standards for design and ongoing monitoring”.
Dr Browning explained, ‘This includes pre-registration testing for new designs from the OEM and batch testing new units before sale. We also test a sample of units in service at mining operations to meet regulatory compliance and check for deterioration over time.’
Coal Mine Roadway Dusts
The Mine Safety Laboratory is NATA-accredited to perform analysis of roadway dusts as outlined in the “NSW Code of Practice: Roadway dust analysis in underground coal mines.”
‘In addition to determining the incombustible content of roadway dust samples, we also prepare and certify colour comparison standards and analyse stone dust for particle size and quartz content.’ he added.
Gas monitor performance
Gas detectors must be lab tested to Australian standards before they can be registered for use in NSW underground coal mines. This is to ensure the units perform as they should in different environmental conditions.
‘Lab testing involves subjecting the gas detectors to a variety of conditions including variations in temperature, pressure, humidity, vibration, and impact to ensure they perform in accordance with Australian standards.’
The Mine Safety Laboratory is the only facility in Australia accredited by NATA to assess the gas detector performance standards: AS/NZS 60079.29.1 Gas Detectors-Performance requirements of detectors for flammable gases, and AS/NZS 4641 Electrical equipment for detection of oxygen and other gases and vapours at toxic levels – General requirements and test methods.
About Mine Safety Laboratory
Mine Safety Laboratory is part of the Coal Services Specialised Health and Safety Scheme’s group of businesses. The team are the leading experts in mining related testing services, using unique equipment tailored specifically for mining applications.
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