Australian manufacturer and engineering exporter Leussink has devised a unique safety solution to address a long-time problem area in the underground mining sector. The Illawarra-based company services the mining, construction, rail and shipping, and smelting sectors worldwide.

Leussink designed and manufactured a simple and effective solution to virtually eliminate the danger of falling roof mounts that fix hydraulics systems in underground mines.

Director of Leussink, Mr Jason Leussink explained that the problem was mostly ignored because it involved a tiny component in an industry more associated with giant-sized equipment.

The problem arose from the susceptibilities of a small lever that activated hydraulic power in the process needed to fix roof bolts with the traditional position of the control lever making it a potential trigger for accidents.

The lever, which activates the hydraulics for power and operation in the process of roof bolting, is mounted on the hydraulic manifold. Since underground mining operates at a relatively low ceiling height, this lever is mounted on the manifold at leg level, leaving it susceptible to accidental knocks that would suddenly engage and activate the hydraulic valve and pump energy through the conduit.

In turn, this would cause a roof bolt to release and fall down from the roof height, landing on the finger, foot, or head of a worker and causing a severe crush injury, or even amputation.

Leussink engineered a completely new design by incorporating a spring-loaded safety lever, which requires two different movements to operate – one upward movement followed by a secondary, lateral movement. The moment the lever is released by the operator, it drops back safely into its ‘off’ position. The locked resting position will not unexpectedly engage even if accidentally bumped by a worker.