Improved Human Health & Effectiveness


Theme Leaders: Pat Dubreuil

The Challenge: There is a direct relationship between working in extreme environments and decreased workforce productivity. Physiological stressors are common for workers in deep mining environments, and even more so within the ultra-deep mine setting. There is a need for the development of effective personal protective gear that will help keep people working within appropriate occupational conditions. Normalizing temperature and environmental condition extremes such as hot and cold masses of air including oxygen levels and high concentration of diverse contaminants are required. One must meet ambient air quality standards so as to not alter or impact human health or performance. Biophysical inputs and outputs of working in Ultra Deep Mining conditions require solutions that will address psychological, physical and social health and safety issues which affect worker performance. Working at depth is synonymous with remoteness and isolation which is known to influence worker well-being and productivity. Developing systems and technologies that improve communication, navigation and the overall well-being of the ultra-deep workforce is a priority.

The main research areas of interest for the Think Deep Program focus on improving human health in ultra-deep mining environments are:

1. Workplace ergonomics and human Factors for Ultra-Deep Mines;
2. Workplace safety and industrial hygiene;
3. Thermal Control – to design novel systems and technologies that regulate the temperatures to which workers will be exposed
4. Communication and Navigation – to improve systems of communication and navigation to effectively communicate with workers over a wide geographical area underground.

The Think Deep Program seeks proposals that develop sound and resilient technologies to tackle occupational health and safety challenges in ultra-deep mines. Coordinating and seamlessly combining these technologies together are essential to the advancement of Ultra-Deep Mining.


Thermal Garments (Jannatec Technologies)

Developing adaptive wearable mining technology to normalize the environmental conditions in which a worker is asked to perform his job duties.

Wearable Communications (Jannatec Technologies)

To mitigate occupational health and safety risks as our operations move to ultra-deep mining.

Environmental Air Quality Stations for Deep Mining (Maestro Mine Ventilation)

To manufacturer gas sensors that can be calibrated on surface with zero and span reference gases and then brought to depth without the requirement to re-calibrate at depth.