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Miners’ charity benefits from grease pressure safety innovation

All royalties made from the Remote Grease Pressure Release System, which is designed to eliminate the risk of high-pressure grease injection injuries, are to be donated to the mining charity A Miner's Legacy, according to co-creator Downer EDI.

The company says the system, which was developed in conjunction with Australian Diversified Engineering (ADE), is “a simple, cost-effective solution that can be quickly activated using a garage-door-style remote control mechanism to release the pressure building in a blocked grease gun in both hydraulically and pneumatically operated grease systems”.

It ties in well with A Miner’s Legacy, which provides support and assistance to families of mineworkers involved in fatal mine accidents.

ADE manufacturing manager Daniel Kirk says pressure build-ups are among the most serious hazards facing mine maintenance teams.

The challenge in creating the Remote Grease Pressure Release System, he says, was to make it as fast and easy as possible to eliminate pressure build-ups while not creating more work for maintainers.

“Our research revealed that the usual protective equipment was not protecting maintainers from high-pressure injection injuries and the standard process of removing the hose from the nipple in the case of a blockage was intrinsically flawed and dangerous,” Kirk says.

“The solution is our remote-operated wireless transmitter that can be activated up to 50 metres from the service truck to release the build-up of pressure. It can be retrofitted to existing systems and has already been installed at nine mine sites across Australia with great results.”

Royalties from the system — which was Highly Commended in the 2014 Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference Innovation Awards — currently exceed $7,000.

“Rather than profiting from a system that will make working on site safer, we are happy to donate our royalties to A Miner’s Legacy to help them continue to spread the word that there is nothing more important than going home unharmed to your loved ones at the end of your shift,” Downer plant executive general manager Peter Connor says.


The Downer/ADE Remote Grease Pressure Release System mounted on a service truck.


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