What is Ground Control Safety

Ground control in the mining industry refers to a series of practices that are used to eliminate ground movement risks. Control measures in geology can work to understand the various properties of rock types and also reduce rock stress with groundwater shifting.

Underground mining is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States and ground failures in hard rock can cause inherent stresses that leave rock altered. The main factors that contribute to rock mass shifting come down to stress levels and also failures of falling rocks and sidewall components. Looking into the rock characteristics and pre-mining stress of the mine as well as performing simulations through mine sequencing can help to prevent problems.

Rock bursts can sometimes happen due to a brittle spalling or issues with the underground opening. Added stress level to rocks can sometimes lead to complete rock bursts which result in a full shift of the mining site or collapse.

Rock support throughout the mining project improves stability and also ensures that there are load bearing capacities in the mining site. Different types of rock support can be installed based on the extent of fractured rock and problems throughout excavation. Passive reinforcement can include items like shotcrete, steel sets, mesh and straps to reinforce rock services. There is also active rock reinforcement including anchored rock bolts, dowels, cables and wall support systems.

Understanding rock characteristics and performing proper planning can assist with ground control safety and this is a crucial aspect of any mining site for preventing incidents and ensuring that there is a proper excavation plan. If you’re interested in learning more about crowd control safety in the latest technology that can be employed for ground control safety excellence, contact us today.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of safety, producing the best ground fault relay in the industry. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.

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