On 1 December 2014, a new safety standard series, necessitating product development due to several new requirements for surface drill rigs and associated equipment, was introduced. The standard is known as EN 16228.
Drill rigs now have a specific European safety standard, EN16228. The preceding standard for drill rigs was out-dated due to technical and regulatory development. Creation of the new standard lasted several years before the final requirements came into force at the end of 2014.
Safety at the forefront
Since surface drills rigs operate in a variety of different and demanding conditions – such as land strewn with boulders, in blasting areas or on slippery rocks. However, in dusty, noisy conditions, under constant vibrations and often at great heights, solutions to the new requirements have to consider these diverse operating conditions.
The new safety standard series has led manufacturers to reassess their drilling rigs to ensure that operational safety is improved. One success of the new standard is the revised requirement to better protect operators and other personnel from the entanglement hazard caused by the rotating drill steel. Due to this change, all of Sandvik’s outstanding implementation work utilising drilling rigs that began in 2013, was modified to ensure that it complied with the new standard. Sandvik’s solution to this requirement was to develop and install a safety cage around the feed beam.
Another of the new requirements is reducing the risk of fire in case of hose leakages. In order to accomplish this, Sandvik has fitted protective sleeves over hydraulic hoses in coolers and the power pack.
Involved in the development of related standardisation
Päivi Kautiainen, responsible for the general development of drill rig safety at Sandvik, commented: “Because drilling is one of our core businesses, it is very important that we are constantly involved in the development of related standardisation. The new safety standard is a harmonised product type specific C-type standard, which provides conformity with European requirements. In addition to this, we certainly need to know about and adapt to the safety requirements currently in force in other areas, because the whole world is our market. Safety is important wherever our equipment operates.”
Many customers worldwide want drill rigs that are built according to EN standards
Jarno Viitaniemi, Product Manager for surface drill rigs, explained that European standards carry a great of importance, even in countries outside of Europe. “Though this is an EN standard, we have a lot of customers in various markets who want drill rigs that are built according to EN standards, and therefore possess high quality safety solutions, even if their local legislation does not require them.”
Adapted from press release by David Bizley