June 2005 – Calgary, Alberta

Ed Barnett called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to Calgary.  We will have an officer opening at the Denver meeting in November.  Aaron Spielman read the minutes.

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Sheraton Cavalier
2620 – 32 Avenue NE
Calgary, Alberta

Meeting Minutes

June 9th

8:05 am

  • Ed Barnett called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to Calgary.  We will have an officer opening at the Denver meeting in November.  Aaron Spielman read the minutes.
  • Jerry Enders gave a financial report.

8:15 am

  • Jed Jensen announced future meeting locations: 

                 November 16th – 18th in Denver 2005 at the Renaissance

                 June 7th -9th in Salt Lake, 2006 at the Red Lion

                 November 15th – 17th  2006 in Albuquerque NM at the Radisson

                 June 6th – 8th  2008 in Billings MT at the Sheraton

                 November 14th – 16th 2008 in Tucson AZ


8:25 am

  • Group Discussions – Divided into groups to discuss Safety, New Innovations and Technology, Problems and Solutions, and Future Meeting Topics


9:40 am

  • Industrial Lighting and  Safety-Can you see the problem-  Tim Driscoll- Shell Oil


12:00 pm

  • Lunch


1:00 pm

  • Occupational Health and Safety Code- Alberta Director of Mines, Don Hindy


2:45 pm

  • Analyzing problems with XY’s (field cases).  DCS Tracy Fetter


June 10th

8:00 am

  • Group Discussion – Summary of Group Discussions held on Thursday


9:00 am

  • Tour of Raffin Electric Shop in Calgary


11:15 am

  • Closing remarks by Ed Barnett


12:00 pm

  • Lunch/ Steering committee meeting


Topics Discussed

Group Discussions

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5


Group 1 Discussion


  • Observed that the mining industry is pushing contractors to achieve the same level of safety awareness as the mining industry.
  • Rewarding employees increases safety awareness.
  • Behavior based safety programs are gaining acceptance and encourage safety awareness on and off the job.
  • Discussed the importance of maintenance on safety equipment (disconnect switches, interlocks, E-stops).
  • IEEE IAS has a workshop on electrical safety.
  • The policy for required on site training for vendors is generally defined by government regulations.
  • Discussed the benefits of using CB radios when traveling on haulroads and ramps.  Use of buggy whips and strobe lights on vehicles increases visibility of the vehicle.

New Products

  • Startco Engineering has introduced a new MP32 motor protection relay.
  • National Electrical Carbon has developed a new brush holder that allows safe change of brushes on slip rings while equipment is in operation.
  • National Electrical Carbon is marketing a vibration analysis system. They offer both the equipment to take the data and a service to analyze the results.
  • A special lens can be installed in the door of  an equipment enclosure to allow infra-red inspection of equipment inside the enclosure with out opening the door.
  • There was discussion of the benefits of extruding a reflective tape in the jacket of trail cable to increase visibility of trail cable at night.  It was the consensus of the group that the muddy environment in which the cable is often exposed to would limit the effectiveness of the reflective tape.  Alternative methods of marking trail cable include traffic cones, road way warning lights.

Problems and Solutions

  • New products are addressing many problems.

Future Presentations

  • Proposal be MSHA to reduce the maximum allowable ground fault current in trail cable applications.
  • On line vibration monitoring.
  • Coaching or workshop sessions for help with motor testing, vibration monitoring.
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Group 2 Discussion


  • Lloyd Seckman from Thunder Basin talked about the motivator petition issues. He thought that MSHA was applying underground rules to the above ground mines.
  •  I talked about Spring Creek Mine reaching the 3 year with no LTAs. As a result of the efforts by the safety culture of our employees, team effort from people that care.
  • I talked about the need to review the mine areas that have access to High voltage conductors. One area was identified as the HV rings on our shovels. This was addressed as a safety goal and Kirk key locks were installed to reduce the risk.
  • Keith Maclean from Syncrude talked about a risk reduction study they were doing. This included the efforts to engineer the risk out of equipment. He may be a future presentation.


New Innovation and Technology

  • Gary Sorenson from DCS talked about communication problems related to manual and Real time synchronizing of data from the wireless system on the Accuweigh shovels.
  • I talked about the wireless system that Spring Creek and Automation Electronics are working on. Many future productivity and control projects are planned to utilize the system.



  • Time and resource shortages. The Mining industries are dealing with, fewer people, less time, looking for more cost reductions and complete the job safer. Some of the ideas were to skills training, Basis fundamentals, Use if vendors, look for long range improvements and Root cause of problems.


 Future Presentations


  • Arc/Flash Hazards and Risk mitigation related to code and industry regulations.


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Group 3 Discussion


  • National Electrical Carbon is using safety scores as a means to maintain safety awareness in their plants. Each employee is measured on a 100 pt scale. Points are deducted for safety infractions. Correspondingly, rewards are given to employees that maintain good scores for a defined period.
  • Discussed ‘near miss’ reporting and what constitutes a near miss. Employees are encouraged to report all near misses, even those that involve only the employee alone. Anonymity is maintained and the programs are administered in a proactive manner.
  • Kennecott Energy utilizes a ‘Take 5’ program to promote safety. San Miguel mine initiated a ‘Zero Lost Time’ program. Zero candy bars are given out to remind employees of the need to work in a safe manner.
  • One location hands out ‘Safety bucks’ as rewards for a good safety record. The safety bucks can be redeemed for goods.
  • Suggestion for a future presentation on the safety programs in place at various mines.

New Products

  • The use of telemetry to relay data on draglines to remote locations is expanding. Offers flexibility to monitor parameters in real time at the mine office. GPS is being incorporated in the systems that being sold now. Comment that the widespread use of video games is showing up in the equipment used for this purpose, i.e., it’s more user friendly to the current generation of machine operators.
  • Question regarding use of strain gages on machines. WBM mentioned as source of information  on the subject.
  • National Electrical Carbon is marketing a vibration analysis system. They offer both the equipment to take the data and a service to analyze the results.
  • New technology for digitally storing component information on a chip that can be attached to a piece of equipment. Called ‘I-Button’, these chips can be scanned with a  reader to retrieve information such as purchase date, installation date, service history, etc.
  • Australian mines are aggressively pursuing the implementation of the latest technologies, more so than US firms. These firms can be used as sounding boards to determine the feasibility of incorporating a specific technology locally.

Future Presentations

  • Kennecott Energy’s innovations and improvements on their draglines.
  • Safety hardware.
  • Standardization of mine requirements and regulations.
  • Vendor awareness of mine safety procedures, communications, etc. What training is in place to ensure their safety while on a mine site.
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Group 4 Discussion



  • Syncrude expansion project implemented a policy whereby every meeting, at every management level is started with a safety topic – this could be some potential downgrading incident that someone has noticed or it might be a suggestion to prevent a downgrading incident either on or off the job.
  •  Most people in group 4 agreed that Behavior Based Safety was a good approach and most companies are using some aspect of this program. Maintaining participation through employee buy-in can be a problem without adequate incentives.
  •  Personnel lifts were discussed and the need to maintain a regular inspection program at a frequency appropriate to your property and jurisdiction needs. One company discussed that they require specialized training for each operator of personnel lifts. The training has both a theory as well as a practical portion. 
  • Lockout Issues – One company revealed that they had several long term employees who had violated their lockout procedure. It was an intentional type infraction and something not expected out of long term experienced personnel. Lockouts are an issue that always needs front line attention.
  • Work Place Drug Testing – Most companies are involved in a drug testing program of some kind. Programs in practice varied from new hire testing, to testing for cause following an incident. One company discussed their program of random testing which includes all personnel on the register from the President on down, so it is very much accepted as the program actually does in clued ALL employees.
  • Color Coding of Electrical Cords and Equipment – A 2 color system is used to identify the months and when the equipment was inspected. A 10 day grace period into the next month is allowed to give an opportunity for change to occur.


New Technology

  • Discussions continued around the safety aspect of the conference and most commented that they believed that the increased awareness of system condition provided by the latest technology provided an increased level of safety on the equipment, making diagnosis simpler and maintenance decisions easier and more effective.
  • Motivators – MSHA is investigating a more comprehensive control system for generator power systems in use for walking shovels and other portable power equipment. Some companies are taking a wait and see approach, but others are parking their motivators.
  • NGR monitoring is finding more favor in general system use,  not just in mining.
  • GFCI Device Temperature Restrictions
  • Most GFCI devices are now only certified to -25 degrees Celsius, and will not work in colder environments, this is due to an acceptance by Canada of US standards on this equipment, be careful when using these devices in clod climate areas.
  • Welding Incidents – One company reported on 2 welding incidents which had caused severe burns in one case and a fall in another. The fall was a result of in inattention to the work location and use of fall protection equipment. The fire/burn a result of failure to remove the carbon arc rod from the holder – the welder hung the electrode holder on a steel reinforced hydraulic line. Any welding related incidents acetylene or electric, please forward data/pictures to David Hisey @[email protected] or if you have questions or concerns on welding safety.
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Group 5 Discussion


  • Spring Creek Coal; Kennecott Energy, has gone 3 years with out a lost time accident.


Problems and Solutions

  • Jim Freeman, Hinz Automation, stated that the old metallurgical coal mines are starting up again.  They are having problems with reclassifying because the replacing of outdated equipment with new mandates this.  It is proving very costly.
  • Marv Savostianik from Startco stated that they have a new motor control relay, the MP32.
  • The issue of the requirement for a neutral ground resistor monitor came up.  A Canadian Mine had received a drill from the US and it didn’t have one.  Canadian law mandates that monitors be installed on the resistor, US law doesn’t. 
  • Group spent time talking about ways to get young people interested in the mining business.  Talked about incentives, coop programs, and scholarships.


Event Details

Start date: 06/09/2005