Mining monitors and predictive maintenance are essential components to improving risk assessment strategies and reducing workplace hazards.

As the consequences of workplace risks and further legislative regulation of machine safety become more prominent for companies in the mining industry, they need solutions that evaluate the safety of every asset with precision and accuracy. Mining monitors can help in this regard, as they provide consistent evaluation of equipment through data gathering and enable operations management to examine each machine's activity within the context of the whole operation. Not only does this process help them identify and repair machinery before it breaks down, it allows companies to take a proactive stance on the oversight of their whole operation.

The PR backlash that mining accidents and unsafe workplaces can cause was demonstrated again last week, as a former coal mine employee in Queensland sued his employer, Anglo American, for $1.3 million claiming that the company's failure to maintain a safe working environment led to permanent spinal injuries, reported Mining Australia.

Legislation and its related financial impact are likely to increase as regulations leave mining companies with little room for error. Regular risk assessments of machinery and worksites is imperative in this day and age, wrote Plant Engineering contributor JB Titus, but actually changing them is proof that old habits die hard. Without a concerted effort on the part of operations management to switch to a predictive maintenance evaluation strategy and provide comprehensive repair services, the same consequences will continue to hit companies' reputations and wallets.

"Risk assessment is a process of logical steps designed to systematically identify and evaluate any and all hazards associated with a machine," he wrote. "And, not until any and all hazards are identified via a risk assessment can designs be implemented to mitigate those hazards making it a safer machine."