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The Merlo Remote Explosive Loading Unit keeps mine personnel away from some of the worst hazards linked with open pit mining.
The Merlo Remote Explosive Loading Unit keeps mine personnel away from some of the worst hazards linked with open pit mining.


Safety award for remote explosive loading unit

Tasmanian iron ore miner Grange Resources and engineering consultant pitt&sherry have shared the honours for an innovative solution that protects personnel from open pit mining hazards.

Their Merlo Remote Explosive Loading Unit received an award for the Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Issue at the 2012 WorkSafe Tasmania Awards. 

The innovative solution keeps mine personnel safely away from some of the worst hazards associated with open pit mining.

The WorkSafe Tasmania Awards recognise Tasmanian businesses, organisations and individuals that are leading the way in workplace health and safety. 

“Having our work recognised by WorkSafe Tasmania is a great honour for pitt&sherry and Grange Resources,” said Dan O’Toole, director and national mining manager of pitt&sherry.

“Mining fundamentally takes place in a harsh and often hostile environment, making safety an important priority.”

By conducting a comprehensive workplace risk assessment and control analysis, the highest risks in the open pit mines were found to be hazards related to rock falls and slope failures.

The Merlo Remote Explosive Loading Unit represents a significant improvement in OHS procedures and was recently accepted into the minerals processing unit code of practice that recognises the safety advantages of the equipment, allowing it to be used as a minerals processing unit.

“The project was ongoing over a couple of years as it was being developed,” O’Toole told Quarry. “Grange had particular requirements and we worked to develop a solution.

“It’s unique, we’ve done other applications for mining, for underground and open mining. This one has great potential for use in other mining operations.”

He added that any mine or quarry with either high wall operations or rock fall hazards stands to benefit greatly from the Merlo remote explosive loading unit technology.

“There is increasing pressure on the mining industry to improve safety and productivity, while reducing costs,” O’Toole explained. “Robotic machine guidance technologies such as the Merlo are providing attractive alternatives to traditional mining techniques.” 

Source: pitt&sherry/Mendleson Communication

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