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Contributors

Filtering by Category: Vol 2

Rosond achieves one year zero harm at drilling sites

Drill Safe

 
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Media statement issued on behalf of ROSOND, by StoneSoup Public Relations

Several drilling sites operated by Rosond have successfully achieved a full year of ‘zero harm’. Rosond employs more than 1600 people who work under physically demanding and risky conditions. This safety achievement bolsters the successful implementation of Rosond’s health and safety processes by management and employees. 

The following sites; Anglo American Platinum’s Dishaba and Tumela mines in Limpopo; Harmony’s Elandsrand mine in the North West; Impala Platinum's Impala mine in the North West; Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s Rasimone mine in the North West; Anglo Gold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine in the North West; Gold Field’s South Deep mine in Gauteng; Sibanye Platinum’s Khusuleka mine in the North West and Geotech sites in various provinces under Ivanhoe Mines, Bakubung, Sibanye Gold, Exxaro Coal and Royal Bafokeng Platinum - were injury free over the past financial year from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017. 

The Rosond group ended the year with an LTI frequency rate of 0,2, which is outstanding. 

Ricardo Cravo Ribeiro, Operations Director at Rosond says, “We are extremely happy with our safety achievements. We have a zero harm policy, so it is our responsibility to make sure that our employees’ health and safety needs are put into place and adhered to."

Rosond’s management compiled a Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) policy with specific objectives, which are incorporated into legislation and client requirements. "We implemented a safety management system which we audit on a regular basis and make necessary changes if need be. We also have six Chief Safety Officers in six different areas with safety officers under their responsibility to govern the safety management system," adds Ricardo. 

Compulsory safety training is offered to all employees when doing induction at the mines. André Kleynhans, Rosond Safety Manager comments, “Our training is risk based; pointing out all hazards associated with our operations. Our training techniques are more or less the same for each operation but also dependant on the client’s requirements. We train our employees regularly and in situations where an accident happens a special post-accident training is conducted. Our aim is that our employees get the technical ability to do their job in a safe manner. We also emphasise the notion of my brother’s keeper, so that everyone looks out for each other."

“Along with safety training, we engineer out hazards through engineering innovation. Our procedures are very simple and easy to understand. We continuously motivate our teams and our quarterly safety drives have also proven to be a success."

In conclusion, Ricardo highlights the impact these safety achievements have on their clients. “Achieving zero harm at our sites is a big deal as fatalities in the mining industry are reported regularly. Zero harm means we are at the peak of our industry and that’s what clients look for. Our safety records reflect positively to our clients which reassures them that we are the right company to do business with."

About ROSOND

ROSOND is active in surface and underground mining development and exploration drilling, cementation works and pre-cementation of shafts, as well as grout pack support systems. In 1956, multinational company RODIO started servicing southern Africa’s mining and civil engineering industries. RODIO created ROSOND to become RODIO/ROSOND, which established a niche presence in the market and introduced many original cementation techniques used for geotechnical purposes. These included high shear, high-speed mixing and equipment for the grouting of cement and the long-range pumping of cement slurries. In 1991, the international RODIO group was sold, becoming an independent company owned by Swiss-based GEOSOND Holdings. In 2011 ROSOND management bought the South African operation from Geosond, which included a 25 +1% empowerment deal. 

In 2014 the ROSOND group expanded to Mozambique to service the mining and civil industries. ROSOND has serviced most of South Africa’s blue chip mining houses, expanding its operations over several decades.

An IMDEX approach to safety

Drill Safe

 
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As innovators in the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) industry, IMDEX is committed to continually improving processes and developing products that improve safety. Our number one goal is to ensure every client, employee and contractor returns home in good health and injury free.

Our company has two industry leading brands, AMC and REFLEX.  These market leaders deliver solutions for Drilling Optimisation; Downhole Navigation; Structural Geology; In-Field Geoanalysis; and Driller Operable Geophysics, to the global minerals industry and targeted non-mining applications.

IMDEX’s values underpin our strong safety culture. Through engagement and recognition programs we are committed to continually improve our safety performance and system compliance to ensure a zero harm environment for our operations, stakeholders and the wider community.

As part of our safety program, we have an internal certification program to ensure due diligence obligations are met. This has been achieved at 15 global operational sites including our Johannesburg facility. The 4 star program aligns with the requirements defined by the international standards ISO9001:2015 Quality Management System and OHSAS18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management System.  These standards and the 4 star certification program ensure legal compliance and an overarching commitment to quality, health, safety, environmental matters and risk management.

Alongside our internal processes, we are committed to developing our leading technologies so that they not only include safety features, but redefine workflows and enhance the safety culture for our clients. Some of our key innovations developed to enhance on-site safety include:

  • REFLEX MOBILE™ - Have complete visibility over your entire fleet in real-time.  This easy-to-use solution for the collection of daily drill reports, safety forms and survey information makes on-site safety monitoring easier and more transparent.
  • REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™ - Traditionally, removing core from the inner tube can be laborious, unsafe and result in damage to the core sample. This magnetic core removal tool was developed specifically as a safer alternative to the existing extraction methods which were inherent with risks and dangerous to the user.
  • AMC MUD AID™ - This remotely monitored, in-field mud testing unit  ensures drilling fluid parameters are monitored and optimised 24/7, without the risks of having a Drilling Fluid Engineer on site. With less time, travel, product consumption and waste, the overall result is a significant reduction in manual handling and safety risk.
  • AMC BOS™ - This wire-line downhole solution works proactively to stabilise the borehole and prevent lost circulation. The AMC BOS™ overcomes the safety issues from traditional methods that can cause unnecessary rod trips and manual handling.
  • REFLEX EZ-GYRO™ with ROTA-LOCK OVERSHOT - Innovative survey tools such as the REFLEX EZ-GYRO™ saves you time and costs by re-engineering the workflow, so you don’t require an on-site technician for drill hole surveying. The REFLEX EZ-GYRO™ features our specially-designed REFLEX ROTA-LOCK™, which is an easy to use positive safety latch locking feature to minimise accidental release of the overshot latches from the inner core tube spear-point when handling the assembly out of the borehole. Specific safety accessories such as these have been developed with safety improvement as their number one focus.
  • Innovative drilling fluids – The company has a range of innovative and environmentally acceptable drilling fluids, including a range of thread and rod greases as well as vegetable based lubricants. Greases are relatively economical and effective way to help drillers handle drill rods more safety.
  • Safety Data Sheets – The company is committed to providing  information on the potential impacts of our complete drilling fluid range through  SDS (Safety Data Sheets).The SDS documents inform the  customer about safety and handling to reduce the health and safety risks inherent in any fluid.

About our brands

AMC redefines the way drilling fluids, equipment, technologies and software are used to optimise drilling programs – AMC strives to maximise productivity while enhancing safety and sustainability for clients. AMC has a strong presence within the global minerals, horizontal directional drilling, waterwell and civil construction sectors. For more information, visit www.amcmud.com

REFLEX is a leading IMDEX brand renowned for its real-time sub-surface intelligence solutions for the global minerals industry. The brand’s technologies include downhole instrumentation, data management and analytical software for geological modelling. These market leading technologies – recognised for their ease of use and accuracy – are completed by unrivalled expertise in geo-scientific data analysis and interpretation. For further information about REFLEX technologies and solutions visit www.reflexnow.com. 

One stop drilling solution: Providing value added services

Drill Safe

 
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Written by W.C. Olivier and F.J.N Stassen

Master Drilling provides integrated core process flow management systems to its client’s exploration drilling projects. This service forms part of the value adding services rendered by Master Drilling to its valued customers. This entails the onsite QA/QC of drilled core, core transportation and delivery to clients’ core yards with further additional services streamlining and eliminating bottle necks in the logging, sampling and dispatching of processed exploration core. 

Since mid-2014 Master Drilling has provided this specific service to one of its prime clients in the Northern Cape. In addition to delivering core samples to the client’s core yard the exploration drilling project encountered a bottle neck when core trays had to be packed on and off stands. Master Drilling’s scribes thus fulfilled this function as well as validating core trays, and measuring and recording core recoveries prior to geological logging and sampling by the client.

The throughput of geological information gathered within the project could be maintained as this specific value adding service allowed our client’s geologists to focus on their science as they were freed from logistical and to a certain extent, quality concerns when it comes to the processing of their core.

Trained Master Drilling scribes check the quality of core with Master Drilling geologist Mlamleli Chopela.

Trained Master Drilling scribes check the quality of core with Master Drilling geologist Mlamleli Chopela.

Core samples are transported by a customised Iveco truck fitted with a specialised core holder frame and rubber shock dampeners ensuring minimal disturbance of the core samples during transportation. As part of uplifting the local community, workers are trained by qualified Master Drilling geologists to mark core and core trays, calculate and check core recoveries, and check the overall quality of the core prior to the client geologists logging and completing the final QA/QC checks on the core. General workers are trained to understand the mechanisms of core-loss, -gain, -grinding and other physical attributes resulting from drilling. This facilitates the rapid detection and resolving of any core quality issues.

The Master Drilling Quality Assurance team in front of Master Drilling’s customszed Iveco core carrier.  From the left: Thuso Mongale, Franklin Miles, Mlamleli Chopela, Francois Stassen.

The Master Drilling Quality Assurance team in front of Master Drilling’s customszed Iveco core carrier.  From the left: Thuso Mongale, Franklin Miles, Mlamleli Chopela, Francois Stassen.

 

This service has proven to be a successful collaborative link between exploration drillers and exploration geologists. In order to maintain the continued success of this added service, Master Drilling employs two fulltime geologists on this particular project. This service truly emphasises Master Drilling’s vision of “We challenge the status quo to provide our clients with specialised, adaptive one-stop drilling solutions”, by not simply just providing a traditional drilling service but filling additional value chain needs of its clients.

 

 

MBI Professional tips - drill rods

Drill Safe

 
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We define a high-performance core drilling product as one that is consistently well-manufactured, delivers quality core in the box and reduces drilling downtime. Consult our product catalog to find out more.

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Professional tip

Wireline drill rods are very thin walled so be careful when handling them to ensure that the threaded ends are not scratched during use or during loading and off-loading. 

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Professional tip

It's important not to mix MBI drill rods and adapters with those from other manufacturers. 

 

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Professional tip

After every rod trip, make sure that all threaded ends are completely clean.

 

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Professional tip

MBI Drilling Products defines pre-torque loads for all its wireline drill rods. It is essential that these values be observed at all times – not only in deep boreholes.

 


Online Drill Site Safety Certificate Programme

Drill Safe

 
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Colin Rice Exploration and Training recently launched a series of six online Certificate Programmes;

  • Drilling for Geologists
  • Drill Site Safety
  • Drill Site Safety (South African Law)
  • Exploration Supervisor
  • Drill Rig Inspector
  • Directional Driller

Each Certificate Programme is made up of a unique mix of courses that range from "Drilling Fundamentals" to "Drilling Calculations" to "The Fundamentals of Borehole Surveying". 

Given the increasing use of technology and the demand for our Drill Site Safety Programme from various geographic locations across the world, we now deliver our Programmes on an online platform, meaning that where ever you are in the world, you can take part in our Certificate Programmes. 

About the Drill Site Safety (SA law) Certificate Programme

The aim of this Certificate Programme is to improve the level of understanding of health and safety issues of the candidate and to provide him with the skills to improve his/her management of safety on the drill site. In order for a safety official to understand, identify and mitigate the risks and hazards involved on a drill site, he/she needs to understand the fundamentals of drilling as well as the various drilling methods. This Certificate Program ensures that the candidate has a good understanding of the fundamentals and then develops his/her ability to understand, identify and manage the risks and hazards present on a drill site. This Certificate deals with and is set in the context of South African Law.

Who should do this Certificate Programme?

All people involved in the operational aspects of a drilling project including, geologists, engineers, safety managers, safety officers, supervisors, foremen and contracts managers.

Course outline

This Certificate Program is made up of five courses:

  1. Drilling Fundamentals
  2. Introduction to Drilling Methods
  3. Fundamentals of Risk Assessment
  4. Fundamentals of Hazard Identification
  5. Legal Aspects of Exploration Drilling (SA Law)

Requirements

It is essential that learners consider these important points before registering:

  • Currently all Courses are delivered in English and therefore the candidate must be able to comprehend and write English at school leaver level. The candidate will need to write/type clear and meaningful assessments.
  • It is required that the candidate has had exposure to at least one exploration drilling operation and has access to a drilling operation in order to complete the assessments. Colin Rice Exploration and Training require that you provide information about your experience to best judge if you will be bale to complete the assessments.
  • In situations where the candidate works for a mining or exploration company, it is advantageous for the line manager to be directly involved with the candidate as a coach or mentor.
  • Due to the Certificate Program being online, the candidate will need an email address and access to a stable internet connection.

Registration

The cost of this Certificate Program is R 7 200,00 per person, excluding VAT. 

Please contact Erin at erin.rice@colinrice.co.za should you require any further information.

Choosing the best core cutter for your project

Drill Safe

 
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Historically the cutting of core was very much a hands on operation. Even though very few injuries were reported  (the risk is more a pinch point than a cut),  it became obvious that it was a high risk situation. 

Manufacturers then began to look at removing the “hands on” factor in the core cutting operation. Machines were developed using core holders, covered core blades etc. 

Other areas of safety surrounding the core cutting environment were also addressed such as noise, dust, removing the manual feed issues (pushing too hard and overloading motors/blades), etc. Units were developed with voltmeters to monitor load on the blade/motor, automatic feed and blade speeds , silent centre blade, improved water feed, settling tanks etc.

The result is a range of core splitters available in the market today, from an entry level mobile manual unit using core holders to the fully automatic, enclosed, units for larger projects.

Price,  productivity and blade life increase up the range so it is important to match the correct machine to your safety requirements, metres being cut, rock type being cut etc.

Learn more about the Automatic (Senior) Core Saw 380 Volt Model

Learn more about the Manual core splitter: FH 711

Please contact us should you have any questions or need guidance regarding the ideal machine for your project. 

An IMDEX approach to safety

Drill Safe

 
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As innovators in the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) industry, IMDEX is committed to continually improving processes and developing products that improve safety. Our number one goal is to ensure every client, employee and contractor returns home in good health and injury free.

Our company has two industry leading brands, AMC and REFLEX.  These market leaders deliver solutions for Drilling Optimisation; Downhole Navigation; Structural Geology; In-Field Geoanalysis; and Driller Operable Geophysics, to the global minerals industry and targeted non-mining applications.

IMDEX’s values underpin our strong safety culture. Through engagement and recognition programs we are committed to continually improve our safety performance and system compliance to ensure a zero harm environment for our operations, stakeholders and the wider community.

As part of our safety program, we have an internal certification program to ensure due diligence obligations are met. This has been achieved at 15 global operational sites including our Johannesburg facility. The 4 star program aligns with the requirements defined by the international standards ISO9001:2015 Quality Management System and OHSAS18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management System.  These standards and the 4 star certification program ensure legal compliance and an overarching commitment to quality, health, safety, environmental matters and risk management.

Alongside our internal processes, we are committed to developing our leading technologies so that they not only include safety features, but redefine workflows and enhance the safety culture for our clients. Some of our key innovations developed to enhance on-site safety include:

  • REFLEX MOBILE™ - Have complete visibility over your entire fleet in real-time.  This easy-to-use solution for the collection of daily drill reports, safety forms and survey information makes on-site safety monitoring easier and more transparent.
  • REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™ - Traditionally, removing core from the inner tube can be laborious, unsafe and result in damage to the core sample. This magnetic core removal tool was developed specifically as a safer alternative to the existing extraction methods which were inherent with risks and dangerous to the user.
  • AMC MUD AID™ - This remotely monitored, in-field mud testing unit  ensures drilling fluid parameters are monitored and optimised 24/7, without the risks of having a Drilling Fluid Engineer on site. With less time, travel, product consumption and waste, the overall result is a significant reduction in manual handling and safety risk.
  • AMC BOS™ - This wire-line downhole solution works proactively to stabilise the borehole and prevent lost circulation. The AMC BOS™ overcomes the safety issues from traditional methods that can cause unnecessary rod trips and manual handling.
  • REFLEX EZ-GYRO™ with ROTA-LOCK OVERSHOT - Innovative survey tools such as the REFLEX EZ-GYRO™ saves you time and costs by re-engineering the workflow, so you don’t require an on-site technician for drill hole surveying. The REFLEX EZ-GYRO™ features our specially-designed REFLEX ROTA-LOCK™, which is an easy to use positive safety latch locking feature to minimise accidental release of the overshot latches from the inner core tube spear-point when handling the assembly out of the borehole. Specific safety accessories such as these have been developed with safety improvement as their number one focus.
  • Innovative drilling fluids – The company has a range of innovative and environmentally acceptable drilling fluids, including a range of thread and rod greases as well as vegetable based lubricants. Greases are relatively economical and effective way to help drillers handle drill rods more safety.
  • Safety Data Sheets – The company is committed to providing  information on the potential impacts of our complete drilling fluid range through  SDS (Safety Data Sheets).The SDS documents inform the  customer about safety and handling to reduce the health and safety risks inherent in any fluid.

About our brands

AMC redefines the way drilling fluids, equipment, technologies and software are used to optimise drilling programs – AMC strives to maximise productivity while enhancing safety and sustainability for clients. AMC has a strong presence within the global minerals, horizontal directional drilling, waterwell and civil construction sectors. For more information, visit www.amcmud.com

REFLEX is a leading IMDEX brand renowned for its real-time sub-surface intelligence solutions for the global minerals industry. The brand’s technologies include downhole instrumentation, data management and analytical software for geological modelling. These market leading technologies – recognised for their ease of use and accuracy – are completed by unrivalled expertise in geo-scientific data analysis and interpretation. For further information about REFLEX technologies and solutions visit www.reflexnow.com. 

Master Drilling breaks scientific ground with the University of Pretoria

Drill Safe

 
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Written by W.C. Olivier

Prof Wlady Altermann (University of Pretoria) and farm owner Oom Peet with the Master Drilling team.

Prof Wlady Altermann (University of Pretoria) and farm owner Oom Peet with the Master Drilling team.

Master Drilling, the local and international technology driven drilling company, in August 2017, set up to drill a historical hole on a farm in Griqualand West in the Northern Cape. Renowned Professor, Wladyslaw Altermann, Head of the Department of Geology at the University of Pretoria and the Kumba-Exxaro Chair, sites the borehole close to a dry river bed containing a unique example of preserved pahoehoe lava flow structures within the Ongeluk Formation of lavas in the western portion of the Transvaal Supergroup.

Prof Wlady, as affectionately referred to by his peers, approached Master Drilling in early 2017 about drilling a core hole through the Ongeluk lavas, Magkanyene (glacial rocks) and the Koegas Formation. According to Prof Wlady, information on the contact between these formations in the area was nearly non-existing and the drilling would amongst other things, better the understanding of the stratigraphic correlation of these Transvaal Supergroup rocks to other lithologies in central South Africa as well as in other areas such as Thabazimbi and the eastern Bushveld. Furthermore, the age (2.5– 2.2 billion years) and the depositional environments of the rocks in the area are also poorly understood and the fresh samples will allow geologist an opportunity to better understand the geological history of these formations. This understanding also has an economic implication, the stratigraphic correlation will add much needed knowledge on the mineral bearing potential of these formations.

The Makganyene glacial deposits are the remnants of one of the most profound climate change events in the Earth’s history, which occurred approximately 2.4 billion years ago, leading perhaps to the total glaciation of the Earth and its oceans. The fresh core samples produced by this project will help scientists to better understand this climate change event which was followed by large lava flows, a significant rise in oxygen levels in the atmosphere and a dramatic decline in CO2 levels. This information could prove invaluable to scientist studying climate change models today. According to Prof Wlady, the fresh core samples will provide greater accuracy of information than weathered surface samples; the only information scientist could use prior to this project.

According to Prof Wlady this project was a first of its kind between the mining industry and a university in South Africa. Although there have been few scientific drilling programs of similar nature in South Africa, such as drilling through the Karoo rocks by the CIMERA centre of excellence and University of Johannesburg, these were all dependent on international funding. This was the first multi-million Rand scientific drilling project driven, planned, funded and executed utilising exclusively local expertise through the collaboration of a South African university and drilling company (Master Drilling), with assistance from the Kumba Iron Ore mine at Kolomela. The project is an unique example of collaboration of purely South African funding and expertise from industry and academia.

The project will create opportunities for young scientists to complete PhD, MSc and BSc degrees and the implications of the increased international publications, spread of knowledge and expertise are tremendous. The funding of the project by Master Drilling is a good example of industry involvement in basic and applied science.

For now, the core, containing yet to be discovered secrets of the Earth’s history is safely stored and be analysed by Prof Wlady, his team and the geological community around the world.

Did you know?

Drill Safe

 
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Did you know?

Standard wireline threads are nearly square in profile and are cut at a slight taper into the blank cold-drawn steel tubing. The joint is designed so that hand tightening will not fully assemble the joint.

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Did you know?

To improve the depth capacity of our wireline drill rods, MBI carefully applies a heat treatment to both the pin and box ends to increase the yield strength of these critical areas. 

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did you know?

Our rods and casing are threaded by a qualified team with many years of experience in drilling product manufacturing. 


Watch our promotional video to see the products and services MBI provides.


Setting the drill site safety standard

Drill Safe

 
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This article was published in the July/August 2017 edition of GeoDrilling International.

MANAGING SAFETY

Colin Rice, of Colin Rice Exploration & Training, describes a case study of drill site safety management in South Africa

Drill site safety has assumed an increasingly important role in South African exploration projects over the past eight years, and much of the increased focus on safety has been due to very onerous legislation that regulates operations. In South Africa, an exploration borehole is deemed to be a ‘mine’, and so all exploration drilling activities are regulated by the Mine Health and Safety Act. As the name suggests, the act was written to regulate mining activities and not drilling operations – in fact, the word ‘drilling’ appears only once. Nonetheless, all exploration activities must fully comply, and all persons involved in any exploration activity are subject to the very arduous requirements and the significant penalties that are prescribed in the act. Because there is no reference to drilling operations, mining companies have had to interpret the requirements of the act and then apply them to their respective exploration operations. Understandably, different mining companies interpret the requirements differently, and so several interpretations exist, and it is not uncommon that equipment deemed to be compliant at one mine is deemed to be non-compliant at another. This has caused confusion between contractors and their customers.

SOLVING A PROBLEM

Approximately six years ago, Colin Rice Exploration & Training was approached by a major mining company to conduct a safety audit on a 33-rig exploration drilling project. It involved rotary-percussion drilling, and both wireline and large-diameter conventional core drilling. Three contractors were awarded work on the project, and so the auditing project involved many different types of equipment operated by crews with a wide range of competencies. Most significantly, there were three companies with varying levels of understanding of the fundamentals of safety management and very different attitudes to drill-site safety. The contractor had very little idea of its legal responsibilities or of the consequences if it fell foul of the law. Previous safety audits had been done by safety officers from the mine, and often the officer reported issues that were frivolous, while serious safety issues were not identified. It was clear that the quality of the audit was directly related to the level of drilling experience of the safety officer, and so it was common that different officers would inspect the same operation and arrive at different findings. Consequently, conflicts grew more frequent – the contractor was viewed as ‘the problem’, and safety personnel appeared to be on a crusade to stop the contractor from working for whatever reason they could find. It was clear that the safety management system had to become more consistent and comprehensive, and so a project was started to develop a set of drill site safety standards that would cover all aspects of a drilling operation. From these standards, a set of standardised safety inspection checklists would be developed that would be used by both the mine personnel and the contractor to conduct inspections. The first step was the development of a drill-site safety standard, it had to:

  • interpret and include all legal requirements;
  • include all ‘best practice’ in cases where the legal requirement was insufficient;
  • include requirements for all drilling methods and techniques;
  • be easily understandable; and,
  • eliminate or reduce the level of subjectivity required in doing a safety inspection.

The development of the standard went through many iterations before it was considered complete, but at every stage it was shared with the contractors and the checklists were used in the safety inspection process. Since the contractor was included in the process, it took ownership and the development of the highest-quality standards became easy. In addition, because the contractor and safety officer used the same checklists to do their safety inspections, there were no surprises. 

SAFETY STANDARDS

Drill site safety has four components, so the standards are developed in four sections:

  • Equipment: requirements for the drill rig, compressor, booster, water pump, mud-mixing facility, rod trucks and support trucks, welding machines, diesel and water bowsers.
  • Environment: general requirements while mobilising, drilling and during rehabilitation.
  • Personnel: requirements for crew and supervisor training and competence assessment.
  • Procedures: requirements for all routine and non-routine operations. 

The inspection checklist asks a simple question directly related to each of the requirements in the standards document – the safety inspector merely has to tick a box: yes, no or not checked. The way in which the questions are framed eliminates subjectivity, and because every aspect of the operation is included in the checklist, the inspection is comprehensive. 

Three separate checklists are used at different stages of the drilling operation. A pre-deployment inspection is done by a competent inspector, preferably at the contractor’s workshop, before the equipment leaves for site. In this way, any defects can be remedied in the workshop by qualified staff rather than at the mine. Once the drill and all ancillary equipment is on-site, set-up and ready, a pre-operation inspection is done. This will check issues that could not be inspected at the workshop; barricading, sump layout, lifting tackle and rod racking, for example, will all be checked. If all is in order, the inspector will authorise the contractor to start drilling. A periodic checklist is used on a weekly or biweekly basis and focuses on checking aspects of equipment that require regular maintenance and repair such as the core barrel, overshots, hoist cables, chuck jaws, quill rods, rotation-head guides, etc. This inspection also checks and verifies operating procedures. Initially the contractors pushed against the implementation of a safety standard. However, it did not take long for them to recognise that the process had many advantages. Firstly, it leveled the playing field – all contractors had to conform to the standard, and so pricing of contracts was much more comparable than was previously the case. Contractors also began to realise that improved levels of safety did not hinder productivity. Probably the greatest improvement was in the relationship between the contractor and the mining company; the contractor and the mine knew exactly what the requirements were and so there were no surprises when a safety inspection was done. Consequently, the contractor became a part of the solution to the problem.