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Explosion-Proof Equipment: Significance and Benefits
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Monday, March 26, 2018

Mines, be them open shaft or underground, still use large amounts of explosive charges in order to clear the way for further exploration and extraction. Mining operations around the world utilize around 150 billion units of explosives every year. However, any place involving materials that are combustible or susceptible to detonation is never safe from accidents. Every year, thousands of miners also die around the world in accidents that are primarily caused by explosives. Despite development of state of the art tools for excavation and drilling, the use of traditional explosives still remains common in mining operations for a variety of reason and therefore the need for explosion proof equipment is a necessity that can’t be ignored.

Mining explosives industry

Ever since the 9th Century AD, black powder also known as gun powder was the only explosive substance available and was used in both military and civilian purposes. With the industrial revolution, things began to change and there was an introduction of materials that made it possible for military and civilian explosive to be different. Mining today makes use of a compound known as ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oils) a compound that is 94% ammonia and 6% fuel oils.

Explosives related accidents in mines

There are a host of different accidents that occur during mining and most of them are directly or indirectly caused by explosives. Misfires, flying debris, methane and coal-dust explosions etc., are just a few of the accidents that are caused by explosives and amongst them all, flying debris is the most common cause of fatalities and injuries in the industry.

Significance and benefits of explosion proof equipment

The lives of the people working in a mine and the protection of the tools that they use is essential in order to keep the process going smoothly and explosion proof equipment ensures that in case of an accident, there are functioning tools that can aid in rescue efforts.

i. Protection against flying debris
As mentioned earlier, flying debris is one of the most common causes of accidents in mines. Explosion proof equipment makes sure that even after being hit by remnants of a blast, equipment like lights, camera and monitoring systems keep functioning, allowing operations to continue more effecting and engineers to be aware of any impending risks and reducing potential damages

ii. Effective in high risk areas
Explosion proof lights and cameras can e placed where it might be too dangerous for humans to go and give a clear picture of site. Even in the aftermath of an explosion, state of the art cameras can allow clear visibility through thermal imaging, etc., making the process more productive.

iii. Appropriate positioning possible for maximum efficiency
Equipment that is explosion proof can be stationed at angles that might be in the direct impact radius of a blast because that will still be able to function despite being hit repeatedly. This makes sure that human lives are protected while saving time and costs simultaneously.

Investing in explosion proof equipment in mining sites is imperative in order to avoid substantial collateral damage.


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