During unfavorable weather conditions in opencast mines, operation of Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM) like dumpers, shovels, etc. becomes unsafe and arduous for operators as the visibility is significantly reduced by fog, feeble light surroundings, dust, and rain. The problem is more pronounced for mines in hilly areas where foggy conditions are more frequent, and it poses a major safety risk for mine sites. Thus, mining operations get affected during foggy weather in winter seasons due to the inability of operators to operate HEMM in low visibility conditions safely. At times, the operations at the mine sites get halted for several hours, until the fog clears.
As per the guidelines of Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS), the HEMM operators should have visibility of minimum 30m in front of the vehicle (braking distance of the equipment) for the safe operation in mines.
Mobile water tankers have been tried to sprinkle water in the mines area and haul roads for dust suppression. Additionally, several measures have been adopted to improve the safety, like the use of fog lamps in vehicles, translucent poles in pathways, retro reflective stickers, and solar delineators along the road surface.
Hence, a sustainable solution is desired which improves the visibility conditions for normal operation of the HEMMs in foggy weather conditions. Please note that we are not looking for technology solutions which can help operate these HEMMs in zero visibility conditions. The proposed solution should not affect the ergonomics of the operators inside the cabin and should not hinder visibility during normal weather.