Business Reinvention & Mining Site Signage – Digital & Static

Signage forms a critically important aspect of mining site operations. It is equally important at the early explorative stage, the production, processing or smelting phase. Because signage is a necessity for safety and wellbeing. Traditional signage used for road, danger, warning or general regulations, is now being upgraded to include dynamic, mining site signage digital solutions. And the benefits are enormous. Think of a well connected workforce with real-time mining site signage digital communications, displayed in a way that engages a FIFO workforce.  Impressive huh!

There is a strong business case for well-connected signage solutions. Safety has long been a major area of concern for the mining industry. In the USA alone there were more than 400 fatalities between 2008 – 2018. In Western Australia for the same period, the mining industry suffered 24 fatalities. And in 2019, after a fatality at Baralaba North coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin the CFMEU Queensland mining and energy president declared a ‘safety crisis‘.

Signs of Change in Worker Wellbeing

Mining companies are now seeking ways to reinvent their mine site safety model. After all, the warning signs have been there for many decades and the statistics are grim.

Worker wellbeing is a major catalyst for this change. As a result of tighter OSHE regulations and national news headlines, there is greater emphasis on worker wellbeing. FIFO mine site operators have recognised the link between mine safety and worker wellbeing.  As a result of a high risk of mental health in the industry the tide is changing. Contributory factors include the significant time away from home, long work hours, financial stress, shift rosters and social isolation. This is backed up in a recent ‘Wellbeing and Lifestyle Survey’ of 1100 workers based at 10 remote construction, open cut and underground mining sites in WA and South Australia. The survey found about 30 per cent reported high psychological distress levels. This was three times the national average.

So in an industry typified by huge profits and global reach, the price of worker wellbeing seems small change.

Understanding the Importance of Signage

In addition to the use of standard static signage, there are now convincing arguments to support the use of modern, digital signage outlined in mine site operations.

As a result of investment, a future-focused approach to mine site operations will offer the following benefits:-

  • Firstly it will achieve a more connected workforce.
  • Secondly there will be real-time comms with head office.
  • Thirdly, workers on the ‘coalface’ will get greater access to important safety messaging.
  • And finally, modern signage allows all parties to remain connected.

So in practical terms what does this look like for signage?  As a result we’ve included some suggested ways to reinvent your mining site signage digital including all types of signs and message angles:-

  • Traffic and regulatory signage as a legal requirement when it comes to promoting safety and directions.
  • Digital LED signage in key safety zones showing;
  • Digital screens as a platform for promoting Safety Targets or LTID stats.
  • Interactive displays to train and show workers how to use tools, equipment and training videos.
  • Screens and apps which displays health and safety messages, promote ‘mates in construction.
  • Digital displays to run videos of safe operating procedures.
  • Posters or digital screens that display real time statistics to improve the focus on Health & Safety.
  • Digital signage for compliance – easy to update as rules and regs change.
  • Interactive screens for consistent messaging across all mine sites.
  • Digital signage comms provide a full audit trail of messages.
  • Digital signage platforms that are scalable across multiple assets and controlled locally or by head office.
  • Display of KPI’s and safety analytics egg metal recovery, waste, recycling.
  • CEO or Management video messaging in times of change or crisis eg.COVID-19.
  • Engagement and recruitment at expos and events.
Typical Mine Site Traffic Signage

In Western Australia, mine site signage is regulated by the Dept of MinesIndustry Regulation and Safety. Because signs are an important part of a mine road network traffic and speed signs are most commonly used.

It appears that signage at mine sites is often not always addressed centrally or often. Because roads within the mine site can change, signs need to be updated often to reflect current road conditions. As a result a sign maintenance program or central point for ordering signs is advised. So choose a company that has knowledge of  the basic standards of:

  • appropriate size.
  • adequate reflectivity.
  • being fit for purpose.
  • being easy to read and understand.
  • where possible, conforming with Australian Standards.

Where possible, traffic signs on mine sites should be installed in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1742.2 Traffic control devices for general use. More information can be found at the  Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety .

The Final Wrap

So what’s clear is that both old style signage and new digital signage must, and can, provide effective investments for some of the toughest site conditions on earth. The safety argument is a key driver for any business. As is durability. With the recent pandemic still very fresh in our minds, companies recognise that speed of response in a crisis is vital. If how to achieve this quickly and effectively is the question, then real-time digital signage is the answer.

Get in touch today to find out how we can provide ALL your signage needs for the future. Find out more at our Strategy page.

08 9274 5151 or admin@signsandlines.com

 

 

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