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Issue 04/2017

Dealing with known unknowns – and knowns

Preparing for catastrophes and mitigating their impact

Natural and industrial or accidental disasters can take many forms and have devastating human and material consequences. Some may be forecast, others not, and there may be a range of significantly different outcomes. Standardization activities by a number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs) may help warn of impending disasters as well as aid in assessing and mitigating their human and economic impact. 

2016
Issue 04/2016

AR/VR underground

New technologies bring increased safety levels to miners

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), long associated with gaming and entertainment only, are really developing into essential tools for a number of industry sector: healthcare, education, architecture, urban design and civil engineering, tourism, sports viewing, film and so forth. The explosive (Ex) industry is also beginning to see the advantages of using AR/VR in their daily operations. The mining sector in particular has a lot to gain from adopting these new technologies.

Issue 03/2016

Covering all bases

Safety of electrical and non-electrical equipment in Ex areas

Miners had learnt the hard way that their jobs were fraught with risks – fire damp, methane accumulation or suspended coal dust – when electric power was introduced. All it took to ignite methane for instance was a spark emitted by a lighting fixture or a motor. And the rapid growth of the oil and gas industry in the 20th century and the numerous accidents and explosions that occurred in oil drilling operations and refineries raised awareness of the dangers facing those working in this sector.

2014
Issue 07/2014

Raising awareness on high-risk mining operations

IECEx and AFSEC international seminar in DRC

The DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) is extremely rich in natural resources. In its soil lie huge amounts of metal and mineral ores such as diamonds, gold, copper, tantalum and the world’s largest reserves of cobalt. While artisanal and small-scale mining still plays an important role in ore extraction, the country is increasingly developing its industrial mining sector.

Issue 05/2014

Benefits of IECEx certification

AFSEC-IECEx seminar for the mining sector in Africa

AFSEC (African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission) and IECEx (IEC System for Certification to Standards relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres) are organizing an international seminar in Lumumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on 7-8 September 2014. The event is organized in collaboration with AFREC (African Energy Commission) and OCC (Office Congolais de Contrôle), and in partnership with the Katanga mining authorities and Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, the governor of the Katanga Province.

2012
Issue 02/2012

From singing to sensing

IECEx certifies modern gas detectors and sensors

A BBC News item dated 30 December 1986 announced that more than 200 canaries still employed in UK mines were to be made gradually redundant throughout 1987. The article stated that “new electronic detectors will replace the birds because they are said to be cheaper in the long run and more effective in indicating the presence of pollutants in the air otherwise unnoticed by miners.”