Russian Mine Improves Worker Safety with Tait DMR

Bachatsky Mine Worker

Mining sites are challenging and dangerous environments, making robust communications and location services essential for safe and efficient operations. To improve the safety of its miners, Russian Bachatsky coal mine replaced their analog system with a Tait DMR solution.

The Bachatsky mine is the largest open pit coal mine in the Kuzbass coal field, and is operated by Kuzbassrarezugol, Russia’s second-largest coal company. Each year, 10 million tons of high quality coal is mined at Bachatsky mine and shipped to more than 16 countries and 22 regions of Russia.

Health and safety are a top priority for Kuzbassrazrezugol, and to improve the safety of its employees, the company upgraded its dated analog communications to a digital radio system.

Problems with channel overload, coverage and audio quality

Bachatsky Mine

Bachatsky Mine was operating on a dated analog communications network

The Bachatsky mine operated an analog, open-channel network dating back to the 1980s, with 400 radios on two separate channels for all users.

Because of this dated technology, the company faced considerable communications problems because the limited number of channels were prone to overloading, and both coverage and audio quality were poor.

Another issue the old system presented was its lack of important worker safety features such as Man Down and Location Services to monitor staff and assets or warn workers to vacate blast zones.

A digital DMR Tier 3 solution

To address the missing worker safety features and problems of poor coverage, audio quality and occupied channels, Bachatsky mine chose to migrate to a Tait DMR Tier 3 solution. Another deciding factor was the custom dispatch solution Tait partner MPT-Service could provide, which allowed for voice recording and the recording and tracking of movement of people and assets around the mining site.

To cover the entire operational area of the mine, Tait installed two powerful TB7300 DMR base stations that can work in stand-alone mode for four hours in case of a power cut during blast times, ensuring workers can stay connected at all times. The data capability of the DMR network enables worker safety features such as Man Down, further enhancing the safety of Bachatsky mine’s workers.

“It’s the first time we’ve had such high quality audio with the ability to reach even the most remote corners of the mining site.”

– Sergey Kovin, Head of Energy Services, Kuzbass Mining

Location Services Bachatsky Mine

People and assets can be monitored with Location Services

To provide crystal clear digital audio and high-precision location information for each of the trucks and workers in the mine, Tait TM9300 and TP9300 radios were supplied. To warn workers of dangerous areas, these are programmed to sound an alarm if any of the vehicles or workers are in pre-defined GeoFencing areas.

The DMR network has also made it possible to create dedicated talk-groups for different divisions within the mine, solving their channel overload issues and ensuring the right people are reached when making a call.

Benefits of the new digital radio network

Most of all, the new Tait DMR Tier 3 network has improved the safety of Bachatsky mine’s operations. Bachatsky Coal Mine now has a reliable digital radio system providing high quality audio and multiple talk-groups across the entire mining site, with rugged, modern equipment that can withstand the challenging Siberian conditions.

The equipment is very well adjusted to Siberian conditions. These radios are not just radios, they’re mini-computers.

– Sergey Kovin, Head of Energy Services, Kuzbass Mining

Worker safety has improved through GeoFencing and Man Down features, and GPS and GLONASS  tracking and recording of workers and equipment is possible with the custom software that was created by Tait partner MPT-Service. Click here to read the full Bachatsky Coal Mine client story, or read other mining client stories here.

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