Core spitters should be part of an exploration company equipment management. Legislation in various countries obliges mines to provide safe and healthy working environments for their workers. Hence, necessary measures should be taken to prevent or reduce danger to workers handling core splitters.
Core cutting machines – also called stone masons, splitters, or rock cutters – have hydraulically operated rams to cut and split mineral products in the geological industry. These machines are produced in both stationary and mobile models. Their high-pressure hydraulic systems may be driven by combustion engine (gasoline/diesel) or electric motor.
Awareness on the importance of good practice is fundamental to choices to be made with regard to the best available equipment to be purchased and installed. Safety is a very vital factor.
Legislation in various countries obliges mines to provide safe and healthy working environments for their workers. Hence, necessary measures should be taken to prevent or reduce danger to workers handling core splitters.
There are a number of innate risks in the handling of core cutters. Dr George Mensah Tetteh, Senior Lecturer at the University of Mines & Technology in Ghana, points out that core splitting machines with unguarded cutting blades risk causing amputations, cuts, lacerations and other serious injuries to operators. Such injuries can occur when shears or stone cutters are not guarded properly and workers’ hands or other part of the body is placed in the point of operation.
Prolonged working hours of the operators at awkward positions is another risk Tetteh mentions. “Vibrations transmitted from cutting of core could build up to affect the spine, nervous systems and back injury,” he says.
Therefore, management of core spitters should be part of an exploration company equipment management. An article, Mechanical Hazard: Shear or Cutting Points, has recommendations on regular inspections to keep machinery clean and properly maintained.
It highlights that good inspection, maintenance and repair procedures contribute significantly to the safety of the machine operator. “Routinely inspect and maintain machinery according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and good engineering practice.”