June 6th, Wednesday
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
June 7th, Thursday
am – 8:00 am
8:00 am – 8:30 am
Opening remarks/Business Meeting
– Ed Barnett President
8:30 am – 9:30 am
- Divide into groups to discuss Safety, New Innovations and Technology,
Problems and solutions, and Future Meeting Presentation
Topics. Summary of discussion will be presented the following
9:30 am – 9:45 am
9:45 am –10:45 am
The Benefits of Knowing Your Commutator Profile
– Gary Lozowski of National Carbon Products,
Mark Rokusek of Foundation Coal
10:45 am – 11:00 am
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Work Keys-a business skills assessment system developed by ACT.
- Mark MacLennan - ACT Workforce Development Division
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
2570 Dragline relocation at North Antelope/Rochelle Mine
– Jim Schackleford – Powder River Coal
2:30 pm -2:45 pm
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
WiMAX to WSN - The Large and Small of Industrial Wireless Networks
- Chris Poe, Ted Lapis – Automation Electric
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Level Measurement and Plugged Chute Detection – Jack Evans - Hawk
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
June 8th, Friday
8:00 am – 9:00 am
- Summary of Group Discussions held on Thursday
9:00 am – 9:15 am
9:15 am - 10:15 am
Design and Installation Consideration for Medium Voltage Drive on a
– Powder River Coal Installation. George Seggewiss – Medium Voltage
Group, Rockwall Automation
10:15 am - 11:15 am
Low Resistance Parallel Ground Paths
- Monte Wilke – Western Energy
11:15 am – 11:45 am
Tuning up DC Motors and Generators for Commutation and Performance
– Rich Hall – National Carbon Products
11:45 am – 12:00 am
- Ed Barnett, President
12:00 am – 1:00 pm
Steering committee meeting
Group Leader - Martin Reyes
Bushane North American Coal:
Talked about their company going 3 yrs w/not LTA
Talked about their achievement of 26yrs with not LTA at their
Lynn Rasmussen P&H:
Discussed how the safety mine set is very different over seas
compare to how its here in the states. Discussed how overseas
properties had very little safety training and you pretty much had
to rely on your own experience and training.
Martin Reyes Barrick Goldstrike:
Discussed their recent rash of hand injuries, how management has
gone out and supplied different style of work gloves for better
Terry Jeans of TXU:
Talked about their employee drive safety observation program called
BST were employees do safety observations on each other, the
incentive program that goes with it for how many cards are turned
monthly in for gifts etc.
Lynn Rasmussen P&H:
Talked about their employee stretch program that they do prior to
their start of shift, has been very beneficial in reducing muscle
strain type injuries especial in their older work force.
group discussed how MSHA reaction and change since the Sago
disaster, their new way of issuing fines and amounts. Really looking
more at individual accountability instead of just the company.
Problems and solution:
work force shortage in all industries, how everyone is in the same
boat trying to find qualified personnel. How they are targeting tech
colleges doing apprenticeship program in conjunction with the
college so they can tailor the program to their needs.
Powder Rive Coal discussed the fatality they recently had due to
unqualified personnel had keys to electrical department locks. They
changed all their locks and put in a more controlled way of who has
keys for these.
Continued training workshops in conjunction with WMEA meetings.
Possible hands on training along with the presentation that is being
Doing one main topic for the meeting example; Ground fault
protection any presentation given should be related to ground fault
Increased spring pressure benefits. Jeff Koenitzer Helwig
Group Leader - Rich Hall
a round table introduction telling who we were and if we were a supplier
Safety and new issues:
Garry Farnsworth brought up the issue of arc flash protection. Many
companies are instituting arc flash protection.
Eric Peterborg brought up problems with wearing protective gear in
changing weather conditions. Arc flash equipment is bulky,
expensive ad cumbersome to use.
Safety is one of the biggest issues arising on worksites as noted by
Kenneth Johnson. More companies require better training in MSHA
rules. Jim Shackleford stated that when problems arise the onus
falls on the company and then the individuals involved. Ken Scobie
said that if due diligence can be shown and you have a paper trail,
you can mitigate a lot of the issue that arise. Richard Hall made
note of a national brush plant in Canada that has a 25 year accident
free achievement and it is because of the safety culture that they
Shackleford brought up an issue that there are problems between
intergovernmental agencies. The ATF had come onto a site without
informing the site people to check on the safe storage of the
magazine for explosives. They were caught but MSHA cited the site
because unauthorized people were on the site.
Mark Demsy noted that there war not consistent rules from site to
site. This causes problems for contractors and vendors who go to
Mark Johnson felt that safety rules should be standardized.
Richard Hall noted that safety equipment and procedures vary.
Shackleford felt that a discussion of standards for safety should be
discussed by the WMEA group.
technology is changing how the workplace does things. By using
wireless technology and using pressure transducers for outputs Garry
Farnsworth said maintenance at his mine can monitor greasing of
individual pieces of equipment to make sure things are working right
and eliminate costly breakdowns.
Hazardous products such as lead and mercury are being banned from
worksites and that MSDS’s should be readily available so workers can
take steps to protect themselves when they work with various
chemicals and agents on site.
Mark Dusky noted that it is getting hard to hire qualified people in
Shackleford said that they had problems with contractors bringing
unqualified people to work. This causes extra downtime and money
being spent to correct deficiencies. Having people who know how to
do the job, how to work safely and efficiently is a goal we have to
Group Leader - Phil Graybrick
Started the discussion with a safety share – Mark Perkins of Helwig.
The suggestion was made that when vendors are working on mine sites,
they watch out for others and not just for themselves. If something
isn’t right, make it safe.
Another situation was observed by Michael Dame of Hampton Power.
When making a trip into their warehouse, he observed a cleaning
contractor using a forklift to help co-workers access shelves to
clean them. They were actually being hoisted to elevated areas on
the forks. The activity was stopped and owner of the company was
alerted and briefed on proper safety standards. The rented scissors
lift to complete the job.
Echols – lost a son in a car accident and became heavily involved in
safety. Unsafe acts will EAT you alive – Education, Attitude,
Teamwork. With those three factors you can improve safety.
Jace Rush of P&H talked about establishing live testing procedures.
A test lead pulled out of a DataQ recorder and was still attached to
the live conductor.
Should not use cheap multimeters. Fluke 87 is Category IV and
approved for use. Many mines provide that meter.
question came up about how often meters should be calibrated.
Remote Racking Device and reduced cycle time when switching. Make
sure that you are using the correct type of fusing – proper circuit
Toshiba talked about their new G9 – H9 drives using simple PLC logic
for communication. They also use distributed control.
just commissioned their first AC machine. It has no delay on
crowd-propel transfer. It uses IGBT’s in the inverters.
Toshiba talked about their drive control software. It has a
Bluetooth wireless connection which allows program access, program
changes and downloads without opening the drive. New static drives
for motor and generator excitation reduces flashovers due to more
Jared Benson or Barrick talked about implementing Arc Flash
protection. At this time vendors are not required to follow the
same rules on their properties and he felt that they should be.
the subject of arc flash:
question came up as to how many managers have seen an arc flash
Should the mine set up a committee to explore arc flash options?
Some mines have restricted access to MG set areas when digging and
limited time the machine house to 2 hours due to noise exposure.
noise cancelling earmuffs available? Some one suggested the maybe
they are not MSHA approved.
cell phones are allowed in vehicles in Canada, safety rule.
TOPICS for FUTURE DISCUSSION:
· Has anyone done any research on DC arc flash?
Group Leader - Travis Sondrol
Dave Mathiot with EMS has seen some positive things come from
Behavior Based Safety observations, when observing an unsafe
behavior they try to communicate the unsafe behavior in a positive
way instead of scolding so to speak, say we care about you we want
you to go home in one piece please put on you safety glasses
Steve Castillo said that it took three years to really get a safety
program in place. In starting it really needed Managements input
and backing to make it a success. They also have started a safety
points and rewards system that has proved to work well. Also wants
everyone to not be on the defensive when approached about doing an
unsafe act people are just looking out for you.
Gerard Flegel they do a tool box meeting at the beginning of every
shift they go over all the possible hazards that might be in
countered for that day
Paul Kling would like to see a presentation on the possible
advantages of a rewards based safety system
talked about Rio Tinto Energy Americas Take 5 program we have re
vamped it we have given the work force Take 5 books that they can
carry with them. The guys on the floor can use it as a tool to help
them recognize hazards. They can also right the items down to
remind them the next time and share them with others.
Mike Smith said they recently did a job with Coors the job entailed
equipment swap out hot Coors put on a 3 day training course in which
they thoroughly covered arc flash and a step by step process for the
job. The job was completed safely in on hour.
Paterson Would like to see a solution or what can be done to prevent
the incident that happened last fall with the electrical fatality.
Maybe some one with in the WMEA group could let us know what
happened how this unfortunate accident can be avoided by others in
Would WMEA be able to get some shirts and giveaways to give to the
mines for safety awards?
Mike Smith told us about a new drive from Toshiba the G-9 that
replaces the G-7 Has basic PLC functionality with counters and
timers. If installed with the optional card it has programmable
inputs and outputs it also has an optional communications card it is
for 1-350 hp motors at 460 volt
Don Selkirk, Startco has small format termination devices for
ground checks also has a new age feeder protection with IEEE and IEC
curve matching and looking to have some new differential motor
protection in the next year
Flanders Electric has bought the 3270 W dragline and has it for
sale as an operating dragline
Future Meeting Topics:
WMEA meeting topics and items to look at:
Gerard Flegel was wondering if any one had any warm weather machine
procedures for operating in extreme heat. We have all heard of
items for extreme cold just wanted to see if there was anything for
The group would like to see follow ups on past presentations how up
grades and that sort of thing are doing 3-5 years down the road
Paul Kling was wondering if WMEA would do a discount for first time
attendees to try and attract new attendees
vendors would like to remind everyone about the advertising on the
web site www.wmea.net
Setting up motor protection on dragline sync motors
Future Meeting Sites:
Cordalane ID, Alaska, New Orleans
Leader - Randy Lindborg
Our discussion began
with conversation regarding safety in the workplace. The primary topic
was Arc Blast/Flash safety. Members of our group from Rio Tinto
operations stated that they have a comprehensive program in place. An
outside consultant was brought in to assess all potentially hazardous
areas and classify them. Color coded cards are used to determine the
protective gear necessary to work safely in any particular area.
Coveralls, hoods, gloves, and other gear is available from multiple
manufacturers. It sounds like coveralls rated at 11.2 cal, are
substantial enough for protection in most areas of exposure. However, a
drawback to some of the gear is the fact that it is bulky and hot.
Newer styles of protection are available in suits that are layered.
Layers can be removed if they are not needed for the particular exposure
level being encountered. None of us actually has any experience with
these newer layered suits yet. To date, the NFPA has only studied and
came out with ratings and recommendations for AC areas. DC studies and
findings are supposed to come out within the next couple of years.
We talked about
personnel exposures in the vicinity of running MG sets. Falkirk Mine has
fenced off the entire MG set areas on their machines to limit or prevent
access while in operation. They have also established physical barriers
adjacent to the sets to minimize hazard exposure to personnel outside of
the fenced area. Red Hills Mine and others are utilizing remotely
operated cameras, with monitors in the cabs to watch the MG sets while
We discussed general
electrical safety, and recent fatalities that have taken place in our
industry. A number of individual issues were identified:
Fatigue at work:
This obviously can contribute to safety
problems and accidents. We discussed the fine line we walk between
allowing people their privacy and individual choice when not at work,
and the responsibility we all have to be well rested and properly
prepared to work safely on the job.
Isolated work areas/High Voltage:
Some mines allow work, such as cable
change outs, to be done alone. Some require a second person for many
jobs. The second person doesn’t necessarily need to be an electrician.
Safety training-specifically for the
younger and newer electricians:
We talked about the need for all of us
with years of experience to share our backgrounds with the newer people.
There is no substitute for years on the job, and communicating our
experiences-especially the negative ones, can and should carry a lot of
weight with the younger electricians. There are very few of us who have
been in the industry for any period of time, who have not been involved
in some scary situations. Telling the stories and emphasizing what went
wrong should open some young eyes. Mentoring and nurturing our young
people in the area of safety is one of the best investments we can make
in the future of our industry.
Safety Programs at the individual mine
There are many variations out there. Rio
Tinto does what they call “Take 5” risk assessments. There are specific
checklists that are filled out prior to engaging in some jobs. This
emphasizes the need to look at all possible risks and hazards associated
with any particular task. Safety incentive awards are presented to an
employee when he/she complete and turn in 40 “Take 5” risk assessment
Many of North American Coal’s operations,
including the Freedom Mine, are using a program called “Safe Start”. The
program is centered around 4 primary states that contribute to
accidents- Complacency, Rushing, Fatigue, and Frustration. Each of these
states can contribute to 4 primary errors-Mind not on task, Eyes not on
task, Line of fire, and Balance/traction/grip. Every accident is
analyzed and a report is processed using these states and errors as a
framework. Personal accountability is emphasized. Every accident is
reviewed with every employee at the mine in weekly safety meetings. Our
safety statistics have improved substantially in every measured category
since the inception of this program 5 years ago.
We had a short discussion regarding
general safety using overhead cranes. Some of the individual items
brought up were wireless controls, load cells/load weight displays, and
soft starts/soft stops for motions.
Our discussion centered around wireless
communication and information systems. These systems are getting more
affordable, user-friendly, and practical as each week passes. There are
a number of providers and platforms available in the market. Solar
panels are becoming widely used for powering wireless bridges and
equipment. Falkirk Mine is using wireless data transfer systems on their
coal haulage trucks. At this point, each operation has specific needs
and conditions of operation for wireless systems. It is a technology
that is not “one size fits all”. Look for multiple and rapid
advancements in this equipment and technology in the future.
Future meeting topics:
Our group only had time to discuss one
topic in this area. Switchgear and electrical apparatus specifications
being sent out to engineering and manufacturing firms appear to be quite
inconsistent, according to one group participant. It would be helpful
to everybody if a standard platform or specification was developed. This
may be difficult to accomplish. Every operation in the US is governed by
certain MSHA laws and requirements. These standards will be very similar
as applied to any mine switchgear and apparatus. There are also custom
needs and wants for each operator that are specific to their processes
and locations. This topic does appear to have potential for future
discussion at a WMEA meeting. Maybe a minimum standard can be
Question brought up if anyone was doing any of the Arc Flash
Studies at their facilities.
Was noted that some facilities are doing it on their on and other
facilities are hiring consultants.
If you are considering hiring a consultant, one of the first
things that they will require from you is an accurate one-line of you
They can then come in and provide you with an Arc Flash analysis,
labeling, ect. for your facility.
If you going to do it yourself there are classes available to
educate you on what is required.
Was stated that their currently is no date set by MSHA to have
Arc Flash implementation in place.
IEEE does not address Arc Flash specifically for mining
Don’t take things granted. Even the simplest thing as changing a
lamp can “bite” you if you don’t have the circuit de-energized. Someone
had a bulb break in their hand while changing out causing an electrical
Mentioned a remote control pendant problem. A supervisor had put
the control in his pocket and returned to the office. He apparently sat
on the control and activated the crane. In the instance, the only
damage was to tool boxes. Crane disconnects have now been clearly
WHAT’S NEW ACROSS THE INDUSTRY & PROBLEMS:
North American Coal is opening a new mine in Mississippi.
Texas Utilities is opening a new mine in Texas
BLM predicts that 6000 new mining jobs will be created in
Campbell County (Gillette, WY) by the year 2010.
Number of “baby boomer” era people are getting to retirement age
which will add to the stress of the decreased workforce.
How to recruit and/or keep the skilled labor we have will
continue to be a problem.
Maybe Rio Tinto (Aaron Spielman) could give us an update on how
their Arc Flash implementation program is going as a follow-up to the
presentation he gave a year ago.
Presentation on having some sort of Standard written for Arc
Flash for Mining Equipment as an Assembly. Currently the only standards
that are written are for individual components.
Boom Stress Monitoring Systems and how information gathered can
be properly analyzed without giving the operator another screen to watch
in the cab. (WBM out of Denver was brought up.)
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