http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.19Change: 0.11
R/$ = 10.96Change: 0.07
Au 1236.46 $/ozChange: 1.71
Pt 1368.00 $/ozChange: 5.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Sep 21, 2012

Mining sector needs more alcohol education

Back
Alcohol Breathalysers GM Angus MacArthur discusses the Alcoscan entrance breathalyser system with fuel-cell sensor technology. Camerawork and Editing: Darlenew Creamer.
Engineering|Rustenburg|SECURITY|Africa|Alcohol Breathalysers GM|Anglo American Platinum|De Beers|Education|Platinum|Safety|Security|System|Africa|South Africa|Security|Alcohol Testing Equipment Supplier|Equipment|Fuel Cell Sensor Technology|Machinery|Mining|Security|Work Site|Angus MacArthur|Security|Electrochemical Fuel Cell Sensor Technology|Fuel Cell Sensor Technology|Fuel Cell Technology
Engineering|SECURITY|Africa|Education|Platinum|Safety|Security|System|Africa||Security|Equipment|Mining|Security||Security|
engineering|rustenburg|security|africa-company|alcohol-breathalysers-gm|anglo-american-platinum|de-beers|education-company|platinum|safety|security-company|system|africa|south-africa|security-facility|alcohol-testing-equipment-supplier|equipment|fuel-cell-sensor-technology|machinery|mining|security-industry-term|work-site|angus-macarthur|security-person|electrochemical-fuel-cell-sensor-technology|fuel-cell-sensor-technology-technology|fuel-cell-technology
© Reuse this



Mining companies need to continue educating their employees about the dangers of alcohol consumption before or during work hours, as many are not aware of or do not appreciate the safety risks this might pose for themselves, their colleagues and their employers, urges alcohol testing equipment supplier Alcohol Breathalysers GM Angus MacArthur.

He states that many mining companies experience difficulties, particularly on Monday mornings, with workers who consumed large amounts of alcohol over the weekend.

“Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, many workers are not aware of the amount of liquor that is still in their system from the night before. This needs to be dealt with through visible awareness and education about alcohol testing,” says MacArthur.

A high level of alcohol in the body affects vision, reaction speed and coordination. Workers will be unable to operate machinery or drive vehicles, as they would be a hazard to themselves and their fellow workers.

To help combat this problem, many mines use Alcohol Breathalysers’ Alcoscan Entrance Breathalyser System (EBS) with fuel cell sensor technology, which tests workers for any alcohol that might be in their system before they enter the work site.

MacArthur notes that the average human body can only process one unit of alcohol an hour and workers who consume more pose a safety risk at the workplace.

The automated EBS helps enforce zero tolerance of alcohol at the workplace and does not require any human operation.

MacArthur says this is an advantage, as there is no room for human error or accusations of victimisation or discrimination. All workers are tested through the EBS.

Companies will also save on costs, as there will be no need for security personnel to conduct the tests.

MacArthur suggests that the breathalysers be connected to turnstiles at the entrance of workplaces.

He emphasises that the EBS is not a tool for the dismissal of workers, but rather a tool to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.

The EBS allows companies to adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which states that “an employer or user, as the case may be, shall not permit any person who is or who appears to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, to enter, or remain at, a workplace”.

Workers are requested to identify themselves at the workplace with a fingerprint, palm print or retina scan, depending on which time keeping system is in place. They then blow into the EBS and wait for the result. A pass allows the turnstile to open and a fail prevents access and registers on the system.

MacArthur says workers who fail the test are given a second opportunity to test with a handheld machine or a machine with a printer. Should the worker fail the second test, the employer will initiate the necessary disciplinary procedures.

The EBS is used by diamond producer De Beers and diversified miner Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg base metals refinery (RBMR).

MacArthur reveals that, after almost two years of using the EBS, the alcohol test failure rates at sites are almost zero.

Trials at De Beers were concluded in late 2010 and the company is currently using the latest version of the EBS.

Further, he says the EBS has managed to cope with more than double the tests originally expected.

“We thought the machine could handle 5 000 tests in one calibration cycle, but we have seen that they can handle up to 12 000 tests. “The machine still produced accurate results, even after its accuracy was checked after 12 000 tests. “This is a great achievement in terms of the success of the implementation of the device,” he enthuses.

Alcoscan EBS
The EBS is manufactured by a South Korean company Sentech Corporation and is imported to South Africa for distribution by Alcohol Breathalysers.

MacArthur says the cost and technical requirements to manufacture the machines locally are substantial and he believes there is no established industry in South Africa for the production of the fuel cell technology that is used to make the machine.

The electrochemical fuel cell sensor technology is preferred by many companies, as it checks only for ethanol. In comparison, semiconductor alcohol sensors may detect substances such as cigarette smoke, menthol, sugar and mouth alcohol.

The electrochemical fuel cell sensors in the EBS have longer calibration cycles and do not produce false positive results.

MacArthur notes that installations come with challenges, for example, condensation had begun to form in a number of EBS machines during winter, as a result of the moist human breath and bitterly cold air at RBMR. To combat the challenge, extraction fans were added to the bases of the units to extract the exhaled breath, eliminating the condensation.

Alcohol Breathalysers plans to release a weatherproof version of the EBS, with a plastic casing to protect it from harsh weather conditions.

Further, the company notes that hundreds of engineering companies in South Africa are making use of hand-held alcohol breathalysers, owing to the smaller number of staff on site, compared with the number of employees on mines.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Video News
More
 
 
Latest News
DBSA CEO Patrick Dlamini
Following record disbursements of R12.7-billion in 2014, the State-owned Development Bank of Southern African (DBSA) reported on Monday that it planned to raise total yearly disbursements to R22-billion by 2017, with a major focus on under-resourced municipalities....
Through consolidating its operations into one central 59 000 m2 building, which was currently under construction near Freedom Park in Tshwane, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) would streamline its processes and achieve greater efficiency, Minister in the Presidency...
Tanzania has signed an agreement with French oil producer Maurel et Prom and Wentworth Resources for the supply of gas aimed at doubling the country's power generation capacity to 3 000 MW by 2016. Oslo Stock Exchange and London AIM-listed Wentworth Resources said in...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse.   Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June  to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm  Fischer Consortium the  contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks