27 Sep 2023

How to Enhance Safety in the Mining Industry with Rugged Remote Devices

The mining industry is a foundation of the global economy as it shapes landscapes and powers technological advancements. Each year, more than 3.3 billion tonnes of metals are produced worldwide.

While there is room for improvement, large-scale mining has become one of the world’s most safety-conscious industries, according to the World Bank, with mining accidents falling yearly. As the industry continues to innovate in efficiency and sustainability, safety in the mining industry presents various challenges for mining companies and their workforces.

The mining industry is unforgiving of anyone who does not follow proper safety protocols. The combination of confined spaces, underground operations, blasting operations, heavy equipment, and challenging conditions create a situation that requires unrelenting risk assessment and enforcement of safe mining practises on each mining project.

The quest for precious resources exposes mining workers to potential dangers, from entering hazardous zones with harmful gases to areas that feature extremes of conditions that, in the past, have resulted in serious injuries such as black lung disease, heat stress, and heat exhaustion. While stringent safety rules have been established to protect the workforce, mining companies are transforming safe practises through rugged digital solutions.

Responsible mining companies support an unwavering commitment to workers’ health and safety, their families, local communities, and society. These mining companies are reimagining their safety practises in alignment with the wave of digital transformation embraced by many industries.

Safety Practises: Navigating the Challenges

With labour-intensive operations and reliance on heavy machinery, the mining industry is deeply committed to health and safety measures for mining workers. The complex interaction of workers and machines demands careful investigation, meticulous safety measures, and professional training. These hard-won safety practises are not just ethical mandates but are preserved in safety protocols that span nations, such as the ICCM’s Mining Principles and regulatory schemes in many countries.

Rigorous safety practises enable mining companies and their workforce to navigate the rugged landscapes of the profession. These practises include personal protective equipment, respiratory protection, emergency response protocols, hazard identification, regular safety training, and frequent safety tips. These safe mining practises are vital, for they help keep workers safe with the tools and knowledge for a thorough risk assessment, ensuring their health and safety during the mining process.

These safety regulations outline expectations and standards for safety in the mining process, and responsible operators exceed the minimum requirements to reduce the risk of mining accidents. From ventilation and air quality to electrical safety standards to equipment certifications, safety regulations underscore the industry’s commitment to minimising worker injuries and protecting the individuals who drive its progress.

Automation systems need rugged hardware that is as robust as possible to provide safety in the mining industry, which includes withstanding the challenging conditions of mining sites.

Safe Mining Practices: The Journey Forward

While the risks of mining activities can’t be eliminated, rigorous safety practices enable mining companies and their workforce to navigate the rugged conditions of mining operations. These practices encompass various measures, from personal protective equipment and gear to safety training, emergency response protocols, and hazard identification. These practises are vital, for they equip workers with the tools and knowledge to identify and mitigate risks, ensuring their well-being in the face of formidable challenges.

Yet, safety practises are only part of the equation for mining projects, no matter how robust. The mining industry is embracing the possibilities of employing technology to protect miners. Enhancing the commitment to safety through devices that promote better, faster communication and more disciplined mining operations.

Safety Measures: Rugged Remote Devices Enhance Safety and Efficiency

Rugged remote devices are technological marvels uniquely suited to the rigorous safety hazards of the mining environment. They provide an unprecedented avenue for improving the safety of those working in mines alongside heavy machinery. Rugged remote devices are rewriting the way mines operate today.

Remote Operability

The roar of drills, the clatter of machinery, and the constant churn of operations create an environment that requires constant diligence. In the past, skilled workers found themselves working alongside this unforgiving machinery. But today, equipment operators can take a step back from potential hazards.

With remote operability, miners can control machinery from a safe distance. The result? Reduced exposure to immediate dangers, enhanced alertness, more safety tips, severe injuries, and increased productivity. Workers are separated from the direct risks of hazardous zones, significantly improving their ability to avoid serious injury.

The concept of remote operability goes beyond reducing exposure. It’s about relieving mining workers from extreme site conditions and the potential of immediate hazards. Rugged devices empower miners to steer machinery, analyse data, and oversee operations from the safety of a remote vantage point. This seismic shift in operational control fosters a safer work environment where risks are minimised, and miners can execute their tasks in a more controlled environment.


Mining operations span a diverse spectrum, from underground excavations to open-pit mines, each presenting unique challenges. Rugged devices stand as versatile solutions that not only enhance mine safety but also cater to the nuances of each operation. Rugged devices are crucial for mine safety inspectionsGIS mapping and surveying job sites, fleet management, and maintenance.

Data Integrity and Security

Cyber security has become a prominent concern as the mining industry embraces automation and interconnectivity. The rise of remote-controlled and automated machinery necessitates ironclad controls to prevent tampering or sabotage. Rugged devices rise to this challenge by offering multiple authentication methods using fingerprint readers, smartcards, RFID readers, and facial recognition to product data and access to safeguard personnel and operations. Moreover, in a world besieged by cyber-attacks, rugged devices support comprehensive data integrity and encryption.

The Power of Real-Time Data: Shaping Efficiency and Safety in the Mining Industry

Mining is an industry where data isn’t just useful; it’s the foundation of decision-making. Accessing real-time data in the field, especially in harsh conditions, has long been a challenge. Rugged devices redefine this narrative. Miners now wield the ability to access vital data on-site, enabling informed decisions in real-time. This bridge between data and action is transformative, bridging the chasm between efficiency and costly errors. In sprawling mining companies with sites that stretch across remote landscapes, the capacity to acquire and act upon data instantaneously is a revolution. This heightened data accessibility, intertwined with formidable security, doesn’t just enhance efficiency; it also enhances safety.

Empowering the Next Generation of Miners

Beyond its safety standards and efficiency, the mining industry grapples with a unique challenge: the shortage of skilled labour. As the older generation of miners retires, attracting and retaining the next wave of talent becomes pivotal. Here, rugged technology emerges as a beacon. The allure of a safer, technologically advanced work environment resonates with the younger workforce. The promise of innovation and an unwavering commitment to safety becomes a compelling incentive. In a world where industries vie for the attention of skilled talent, the mining industry positions itself as a bastion of progress and safety.

Safety in the mining industry is crucial. Rugged devices are the robust backbone, ensuring miners can work securely in challenging environments.

Discovering the Right Rugged Device

Getac devices are natively rugged and built from the ground up for applications such as mining. Getac products are certified by international third parties up to MIL-STD 810H, up to IP67 standards, and ATEX explosive conditions and are built from independently verified and tested components. 

The Getac range of rugged devices, including the F110 fully rugged tablet, has been painstakingly engineered to meet the nuanced needs of mining operators.

These devices embody innovation, a marriage of technology, and resilience that enriches work efficiency even in harsh conditions. The F110 tablet, for instance, encapsulates the essence of ruggedness and wireless capability, elevating work efficiency while being able to handle unexpected events in the mining environment.

Safety Regulations: A Safer Mining Industry Future Beckons

Like many other industries, mining is undergoing a digital transformation. It embraces technology not as an afterthought but as a cornerstone of progress. The mining industry’s commitment to safety has given birth to a new era—one where technology holds the power to transform how miners work and thrive. With their durability and intelligence, rugged remote devices redefine safety practises and rewrite efficiency paradigms. The choice before mining operators is unambiguous: step into a safer, smarter, and more efficient future. Contact Getac today to embark on this transformative journey. Your miners, the backbone of the industry, deserve to be equipped with rugged devices ready to handle the challenges mining has to offer.

Learn about Cortex Intelligence Systemsuse case and how the Getac F110 helped leverage automation across sites.

Mark Lott is the managing director for Cortex Intelligence Systems. After joining the Cortex team in 2018, Mark has held positions as the operations director and controls engineer. He has had a front-row seat to Cortex’s growth and brings a strong analytical mind, expertise, and a dedication to providing a step-change in automation. Mark has more than 12 years of experience in machine and plant automation systems and a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics Engineering) from Curtin University

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