Convergence monitoring is a vital part of any safety management program in an underground mine. However, for busy mine engineers, adding one more task to their list of duties can mean that it is not practiced as comprehensively as it could be.
Rather than treating convergence monitoring as a separate activity altogether, merge/integrate it with an existing activity. Adopting an integrated convergence monitoring approach, instead of a standalone approach, brings with it several benefits, including:
- More effective use of manpower. Any time you can find a way for mine personnel to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, there will be an automatic efficiency and productivity gain.
- Reduced need for extra equipment. When multiple, diverse activities are combined into one task, it is often possible to also repurpose or combine equipment, saving cost and reducing maintenance requirements.
- Lower likelihood of disruption. One employee moving around the mine performing multiple tasks rather than several performing one task each usually means less disruption to production and other core activities.
So how does one implement integrated convergence monitoring in an underground mine?
One of the simplest ways to do this is to use a uGPS Rapid Mapper™ 3D underground scanner as a tool for gathering the data that highlights convergence and other safety-critical factors and behaviors inside the mine.
Because this purpose-built, hardy scanner can be easily used while attached to an existing mine vehicle (all the driver/operator needs to do is collect data with a simple workflow), convergence monitoring scanning can be easily integrated with another task that is already being performed by the personnel member, e.g. a general mine inspection.