Mining companies increasingly expect drilling contractors to keep pace with their commitment for healthier and safer work sites for all employees. According to Boart Longyear, manual rod-handling hazards increase the risk of severe hand and back injuries within the drilling industry, and innovations that remove the driller from these hazards are proven to make a difference in safety.
To meet major mining companies' increased safety requirements, Boart Longyear has engineered a fully hands-free drilling solution with its most popular surface coring rig - the LF90D - in mining markets in North America, Africa and Asia. The in-house engineering teams in all three markets have been collaborating for the last several years, and a number of rigs have now been retrofitted with this hands-free solution.
The LF90D utilises a hollow-spindle drill head, making it challenging for rod handling. By retrofitting the rig with a tilting head mechanism and a customised FL262 Freedom Loader, Boart Longyear stated that it now offers a completely hands-free rod-handling solution for the fleet of LF90D rigs.
The Freedom Loader also works with the LF160 and the LF350 surface coring rigs.
James Chalmers, vice-president of environment, health, safety and training, said: "This is a significant safety enhancement for our clients and our drillers, as it removes the driller from multiple hazards associated with suspended loads and manually handling drilling rods.
"The new hands-free solution prevents back injuries, strains, pulls and hand injuries. This is another example of our commitment to provide healthier and safer work sites for both our clients and our employees."