The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) honored Luck Stone for the company’s efforts to improve operator safety.
NIOSH presented Luck Stone with its inaugural Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations for the stone, sand and gravel sector, during the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association’s (NSSGA) Annual Convention General Session in Las Vegas, NV, Aggregates Manager reported.
Luck Stone modified a Cat 988G loader to allow the operator of the machine to run it traditionally from the cab or remotely. This technological innovation is aimed at improving safety. The remote-control (RC) loader was necessary to protect operators of pit loaders, who face risks including loading a muck pile with a boulder on top or performing certain scaling operations.
“Luck Stone exhibited genuine leadership in going above and beyond mandatory requirements to utilize technology to reduce hazards,” said Jeffrey Kohler, Ph.D., NIOSH associate director of mining, and director of the Office of Miner Safety and Health Research.
Luck Stone showcased its remote-control (RC) loader on Sept. 19 at Luck Stone’s Bull Run operation in Manassas, VA. The RC system is installed on a Cat 988G wheel loader and allows Luck Stone to safely access material at the toe of its highwall.
“We were trying to work out a mine plan that would allow us to maximize reserves and then move to a different property,” said Bob Grauer, president of Luck Stone. “One of the areas of concentration, as this pit got deeper, was how we were going to economically and safely extract the material.”
The loader was developed with Val Caron, Ontario-based Anchises Equipment Canada, Inc.
The loader expected to allow the company to mine an additional bench into the pit. A typical quarry has about 50 million tons of reserves