Tag Archives: health and safety

EY addresses Americas mining and metals company needs with new Centre of Excellence

EY Canada has announced the launch of an EY Americas Mining and Metals Centre of Excellence that, it says, will offer companies across the Americas access to cutting-edge services and innovation-led solutions that meet the most pressing needs of mining and metals businesses, today and in the future.

“Post-COVID-19 investments in infrastructure, combined with demand to sustain the energy transition, will drive significant growth in the mining and metals sector over the next three to five years,” Theo Yameogo, EY Americas Mining and Metals Leader and the man leading the centre’s charge, said. “But capitalising on these opportunities is going to require a major pivot – and we want to be there to support companies as they navigate the path forward. While working cross-collaboratively with our colleagues in the Americas to combine our business and technical expertise with emerging technologies, the centre will ground us under one unified vision to help companies drive meaningful and long-term growth.”

Powered by EY wavespaceTM, the centre’s integrated, business-led and technology-enabled approach will, EY says, support the growth ambitions of mining and metals companies by focusing on four key areas:

  • Technical expertise: bringing advanced knowledge and understanding of the unique business landscape, including reserves and resources, mine planning and tailings management;
  • Digital transformation: connecting the dots to link investments to value realisation through strategic roadmaps, prioritisation of initiatives and disciplined execution;
  • Operations management: improving efficiency and productivity in operations through data-driven diagnostics, culture uplift and integrated planning and execution; and
  • Decarbonisation and ESG: supporting adoption of carbon footprint analytics, greater energy optimisation and increased health and safety.

Jad Shimaly, EY Canada Chairman and CEO, said: “The mining and metals industry is an integral part of our Canadian fabric, and is poised to be an increasing contributor to job and economic recovery moving forward.

“We’re excited the centre will allow us to play a role in enabling Canada’s journey in the energy transition, while supporting mining and metals companies as they look to develop innovative and sustainable solutions that deliver long-term value for stakeholders.”

The first Americas Mining and Metals Centre of Excellence will be hosted in Canada, with an additional location operating in Latin America later this year, according to the company.

Teck leverages Nanozen tech to improve occupational health at mine sites

As part of its work towards eliminating occupational disease, Teck has completed a pilot project using an innovative combination of on-the-ground data and video technology to help better understand potentially harmful dust exposures at a task level.

The Nanozen pilot project, completed in 2020, was devised to understand task level exposures so the company could “laser focus” critical control strategies to reduce employee exposures.

As the company says, occupational exposures that can give rise to occupational disease represent the single most significant health and safety risk in the mining industry globally.

The large-scale pilot project it carried out, which included its Greenhills, Fording River, and Highland Valley Copper Operations, was funded by Teck’s Ideas at Work program. The pilot program leveraged the power of advanced analytics to collect real-time exposure data for job roles including pit crews, mechanics and equipment operators.

Exposure to dust at mine sites is a potential health and safety hazard, leading to respiratory diseases if proper precautions are not taken, Teck says. For years it has been industry standard to rely on daily sampling methods, averaged over the length of a shift, to determine dust exposure. These sampling methods provide one value indicating an employee’s overall dust exposure for a shift.

By making use of Nanozen’s real-time monitoring technology, Teck says it has been able to greatly improve the collection of information about dust levels during a work shift. Instead of a single value for an entire shift, it can now monitor live, accurate information on the concentration of dust exposures.

An overview of the instruments and tools deployed for the Nanozen pilot project

“This has enabled us to better understand how and when these exposures occur, and to target controls that reduce exposures from higher-risk activities,” the company said.

In 2020, the Nanozen pilot project was initiated at sites to deploy this technology into a wide range of roles including field and shop mechanics, pit utility and cable crews, bulldozer and grinding operators, and laboratory workers involved in sample processing. Teck’s Occupational Health and Hygiene team leveraged advanced analytics, diving deep into the data to find meaningful results and actionable changes, it said. This increased volume of research data, the company says, has helped it pinpoint the specific activities and times where dust exposures occur and prioritise approaches to mitigate them.

Dan Sarkany, Lead, Occupational Hygiene at Teck Coal, said: “Applying analytics to real-time particulate monitoring helps us determine exactly which activities lead to high dust exposures, allowing us to recommend and implement targeted controls to improve employee health and safety.”

This pilot project coupled Nanozen real-time dust monitoring technology with on-site video recordings and video analysts trained to recognise job activities. The footage collected maintained confidentiality and privacy by blurring faces and skin tone, and no audio was recorded. Teck said it had the full support of its workforce to undertake this work.

Corrine Balcaen, Director, Occupational Health & Hygiene, said: “This project represents a leading health and safety initiative in the mining industry and other industries with dust exposures.”

Real-time dust monitoring, and the targeted controls developed as a result of the learnings, will continue to be implemented throughout its operations going forward, the company said.

“This technology serves a key role in improving exposure controls and working towards Teck’s goal of eliminating occupational disease,” it added.

In 2019, Teck employed Nanozen’s real-time dust monitoring technology at Greenhills as part of a study looking to gain detailed, real-time data on dust exposure levels throughout a typical haul truck driver shift.

This is an edited version of the story that first appeared on Teck’s website, here.