New generation glove dramatically improves miner's safety
New generation glove dramatically improves miner's safety
17th March, Melbourne – Hand injuries have been dramatically reduced at Byrnecut Mining’s operations at the Gwalia Gold Mine in Western Australia since the site's 230 workers have adopted Ansell's HyFlex®11-840 new generation general purpose safety glove.
Ansell was invited to the site to see first-hand how the HyFlex® 11-840s have made a difference, and our cameras were granted rare access to the underground mine. Watch the video here.
An increasing rate of hand injuries, including some serious injuries which resulted in absences from work for up to three months, was the catalyst for a review of Byrnecut Mining’s hand protection program and glove policy and the subsequent introduction of the HyFlex® 11-840.
The HyFlex® 11-840 delivers EN Cut Level 2 protection and features a durable Fortix™ nitrile palm coating that provides advanced abrasion protection. The breathable liner is a form fitting design that molds to the hand for increased tactility and comfort.
The manual tasks carried out by mechanical fitters and service crews at the Gwalia Gold Mine present a constant source of hand hazards.
Service crewman undertake a variety of tasks including installing services, moving pump lines and lifting and hanging ventilation duct work. A good glove is critical for these types of tasks, because without them hand injuries are very common.
In this tough environment, tasks in the maintenance department are tough on gloves. When grease and oil coat the gloves they can cease be effective and operators’ hands can slip off tools.
A site Maintenance Supervisor also cited durability as a major issue: “Gloves have to be replaced fairly regularly to maintain grip. Durability is a major issue for gloves under these conditions as a 12 hour shift deposits a lot of dirt, grit and grease onto the surface of a glove.
By contrast, the 11-840 glove’s durability means that they last longer as they can be wiped clean and reused, rather than replaced, which also represents cost-savings.
“Comfort is a major factor in encouraging people to keep gloves on their hands. If a glove is not comfortable our people tend not to wear it,” he said.
Feedback on the HyFlex® 11-840 gloves has also been positive. Workers have cited that the rough finish of the nitrile palm coating delivers good grip, while the thin liner is comfortable during long shifts and provides excellent dexterity for “fiddly” jobs.
“They make my job a lot easier and are so comfortable you don’t feel as if you’re wearing gloves at all. They are such a good fit, they feel like a second skin,” said an underground service crewman.
An underground pump fitter cited the importance of hand protection and praised the HyFlex® 11-840: “My hands are my tools of trade. A hand injury would certainly affect myself, my family and would impact on my career in the mining industry. A serious hand industry would mean a whole change of life for me. It’s imperative that I wear good gloves to limit the chance of injury.
“The new Ansell 11-840 glove certainly has better grip than those we have been wearing before. We can hold on to our tools a lot more easily, as well as our fasteners, nuts and bolts. You feel safer and more confident using these gloves,” he said.
Underground Mining Contractor, Byrnecut Australia, is contracting to St Barbara Mines at the Gwalia Gold Mine which is located three kilometres south of Leonora in the north eastern goldfields region of Western Australia.
Byrnecut was established in 1987 as a contract mining company. Byrnecut employs over 2500 people operating a multi-million dollar fleet of specialised underground mining equipment. Contract works include long term mine development and production contracts, supplying management, labour, equipment and materials, raise drilling,
box hole boring, shaft boring, shotcreting construction and mine design or feasibility work. Its activities cover both gold and base metals operations and in many instances have been involved from the feasibility stage through to underground mine production.
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