Altair 4X gas detectors survive mining incidents in perfect working order

24 July 2014
The tough and durable MSA Altair 4X multigas detector for mining has proven why it is the only local instrument of its kind with full SABS accreditation, after two units survived separate incidents in full working order.
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application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document iconAltair 4X gas detectors survive mining incidents in perfect working order14.79 KBDownload
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PreviewThe instrument after the accident 11.15 MBDownload
PreviewThe instrument after the accident 21.44 MBDownload
PreviewAltair 4X Mining Instrument with new cover and back in working order924.68 KBDownload
PreviewDistruction caused by the mud rush1.59 MBDownload
PreviewA miner trying to get back to work after the mud rush1.65 MBDownload
PreviewAltair 4X Mining Instrument buried under mud37.19 KBDownload
PreviewThe Altair 4X Mining Instrument after being removed from the mud and rubble1.38 MBDownload

The Altair 4X Mining Detector is distributed locally by the African division of MSA - a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of sophisticated products that protect people's health and safety. The first incident involved a heavy-duty rock removal vehicle running over the unit, while a separate incident involved an Altair 4X Mining Detector being dropped and trapped in an underground mud rush.

During the first incident, the Altair 4X Mining Detector was trampled by the machine. MSA Africa portable gas detection product manager Tshepo Lebona notes that it was found lodged between the rocks and dirt with a broken screen, before being taken to the Lamp room, where the accident was reported.

“The instrument was brought in and considered to be beyond repair. One of the technicians decided to attach the device to a charger, where he noticed that it began to charge. The damaged Altair 4X Mining Detector was opened and it was discovered that only the screen had been broken during the incident, and that the elements inside the device were fully functional. The screen was replaced and the device was calibrated and bump checked and was found to be in perfect working order,” he explains.

A second Altair 4X Mining Detector was thought to be destroyed when it was caught in a mud rush, which involves a sudden inflow of mud into a mine from an underground opening. These can be dangerous and pose a safety threat to the miners working underground, as the mud rushes into the mine at a rapid rate which makes escaping the danger difficult for mine personnel.

“When the mud began to flow in, the workers moved in all directions to escape, as there is a strong possibility that a person will not survive if caught in a mud rush. During the commotion the instrument was lost and, luckily, no one was injured,” Lebona continues.

The missing Altair 4X Mining Detector was found a month later while the mine shaft was being cleared. It was again thought that the device was beyond repair due to the physical appearance of the instrument. One of the technicians on the mine decided to clean the Altair 4X Mining Detector in an attempt to salvage parts.

Lebona observes: “Once the Altair 4X Mining Detector had been cleaned, the technician attached it to a charger and left it overnight. The following morning the instrument was fully charged and the display screen was operating. The time and date were set and the device entered the normal warm up sequence. It was then calibrated and found to be functioning perfectly and put back to into operation.”

The Altair 4X Mining Detector is suitable for use in a variety of work environments. It features lower explosive limits (LEL) and oxygen (O2) sensors, and can include two more gas sensors; carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S), H2S and sulphur dioxide (SO2), or CO and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). It has a polycarbonate casing which protects the device and allows it to withstand a 6 m drop.

It features a four year sensor life and 24-hour run time, and has been proven to exceed industry standards and customer expectations. "These incidents have proven that the instrument can withstand any environmental hazard. Feedback from our customers following both incidents has been overwhelmingly positive, and proves just how important it is to select value over price when purchasing equipment that is responsible for the wellbeing of human life,” Lebona concludes.



Notes to the Editor
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About MSA
MSA been the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality safety products since 1914. MSA products may be simple to use and maintain, but they’re also highly-sophisticated devices and protective gear - the result of countless R&D hours, relentless testing, and an unwavering commitment to quality that saves lives and protects thousands of men and women each and every day. Many of MSA's most popular products integrate multiple combinations of electronics, mechanical systems, and advanced materials to ensure that users around the world remain protected in even the most hazardous of situations. MSA's dedication to safety has been the key to its impressive year-over-year growth. In eight of the past ten years, MSA has achieved record growth numbers, with annual revenues of more than US$1 billion.

MSA Africa Contact Details
Tshepo Lebona
Product Manager for Portable Gas Detection
Tel: (+27) 11 610 2600
Cell: (+27) 79 699 0434
Email: Tshepo [dot] Lebona [at] msasafety [dot] com

Media Contact
Renay Tandy
NGAGE Public Relations
Phone: (011) 867 7763
Fax: 086 512 3352
Cell: 082 562 5088
Email: renay [at] ngage [dot] co [dot] za

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