Work safety in all areas of rock quarrying

The “Safety first” principle is observed not only in product development and implementation at Sandvik Construction of Stockholm/Sweden, but also among the users of the company’s products. One good example is Minervo, the Slovenian drilling and blasting company, which is currently executing its first order in Germany for the explosives manufacturer Austin Powder. During the three-year period of this order, Minervo is responsible for drilling and blasting operations in six quarries.

In Austria, Minervo and Austin Powder have already cooperated on a number of occasions. The positive experience gained in these projects formed the basis for conclusion of the contract for drilling and blasting operations in the North German quarries. Against this background, Minervo decided to purchase a new above-ground drill rig. As the company had been using Sandvik equipment for years with great success, and currently had eight Swedish drill rigs in operation - including two DP900 s, two Pantera DP900 s, two Ranger 700 s, a Ranger 800 and a Di550 rented rig - Minervo opted for investment in a new Sandvik Leopard Di550. Moreover, by purchasing this “state of the art” drill, Minervo wanted to set an example in terms of work safety. On 20.02.2015, the new leopard was handed over to Minervo director Vojko Reven. The rig is designed to the latest EU standard, with safety concept according to EN 16228, and with a new-type protective cage at the drill mount. By developing this new safety cage, Sandvik has eliminated the potential sources of danger at the moving parts of the drill mount of its above-ground rigs. Subsequent to successful development of the safety concept, all the company’s drilling rigs, such as the Dino, the Ranger, the Pantera and the Leopard are being designed to the new EU safety standard and equipped with the new cage.

In detail, the cage protects the space at the mount from a point 500 mm from the lower drilling rod insertion or not less than 200 mm above the clamping jaw / clamping chuck. In addition, the safety cage extends at least 1600 mm upward from the lower drilling rod insertion of the mount, or at least as far as a machine operator could access the moving components. Inadvertent intrusion into the rotating parts of the drill mount will thus be effectively prevented in future, in accordance with EN 16228. In addition to “emergency stop” of the above-ground drill rig when the cabin door is opened, this safety feature is a further ­element of the measures being taken to ensure a long-term reduction in the number of work accidents.

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