Figures produced by the trade body state that the mining industry contributes $52.6 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 20.4 % of Canadian goods exports and has the world’s third largest mining supply with over 3,200 suppliers.
These facts will no doubt have contributed to the increased safety legislation which was passed in June 2017. The updated Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines now covers and identifies the risks that carbon monoxide (CO) poses from compressors supplying air to pneumatic tools. The original code included legislation on monitoring carbon monoxide specifically for breathing air compressors, but this new update has extended to the parameters of compressors used for air powered tools.
Carbon monoxide is very dangerous and potentially lethal, the effects are also increased if exposed at pressure. It can enter the breathing gas from the compressor inlet or from issues relating to compressor maintenance.
The Mines Act, and the accompanying code, protects workers and the public through provisions for minimizing the health, safety and environmental risks related to mining activities and states that;
(1) An air compressor driven by a prime mover exceeding 30 kw, that is lubricated by oil and discharges to a closed system at a pressure greater than 100 kPa, shall have temperature shutdown devices installed at the high-pressure discharge pipe.
(2) All compressed air systems that are used to supply underground workings shall incorporate a carbon monoxide monitoring system that continuously monitors the compressed air located between the high‑pressure discharge and the receiver.
(3) The carbon monoxide monitoring system shall, when the carbon monoxide sampled reaches 25 ppm, sound an alarm and cause the immediate shutdown of all the compressors connected to the air supply system being sampled.
(4) The manager shall ensure that the carbon monoxide monitoring system is working by testing the system at least monthly and recording the results in the compressor maintenance record.
The Analox CO Clear is able to assist with meeting this code as it is designed to be installed inline with a compressor arrangement to warn the operator if there is a potential contamination of carbon monoxide before it reaches the user.
The monitor consists of a main unit, which is installed inline with a compressor, after the pressure has been regulated down and displays audio and visual alarms if levels of CO increase past two alarm set points, which are user modifiable. Using its electrochemical cell, together with state of the art technology, the CO Clear provides an accurate and reliable detector protecting employees from risk of exposure to carbon monoxide.
The Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia and the Ministry of Energy and Mines also advises that if the equipment is new, it must be certified as suitable for use in an underground coal mine by complying with the relevant standards including (iv) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and as accepted by the chief inspector.
Analox’s CO Clear is IEC certified and is already used throughout hospitals in Norway on their compressed breathing air plants, making it the ideal solution to meet the Canadian Mines Act legislation.
If you would like more information on how Analox can help you meet this legislation, or any carbon monoxide monitoring standard, then please get in touch with us.