In South Africa, the adoption of Proximity Detection Systems (PDS) in quarries and surface mines marks a pivotal move towards heightened safety and adherence to regulatory mandates. With over eighteen years at the forefront of PDS innovation, Booyco Electronics champions the integration of these systems, emphasising the indispensable role of human engagement in realising their full potential for safeguarding workers.

The Booyco PDS has become synonymous with ensuring safety on surface mining sites.

The Booyco PDS has become synonymous with ensuring safety on surface mining sites. Supplied by Booyco Electronics

The continued focus on integrating Proximity Detection Systems (PDS) in South Africa highlights a significant shift towards enhanced safety and regulatory compliance. This move, directed by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) regulations, underscores the critical nature of technology in mitigating workplace accidents.

As the pioneer of PDS in South Africa, and with more than eighteen-year experience in the field, Booyco Electronics believes that the human factor is a crucial element in the successful deployment of such technologies.

Anton Lourens, CEO of the company, argues that beyond the technical installation, the acceptance and willingness of employees to embrace these tools and adopt them in their daily operations are fundamental to their effectiveness. He advocates for a comprehensive approach to change management that involves all organisational levels, from front-line workers to top executives, ensuring a unified understanding of the technology’s purpose, benefits and operational impact.

Lourens points out that the successful implementation of PDS technologies not only promises to enhance safety in quarries and surface mining operations but also influences other key operational aspects, such as equipment availability and productivity. He emphasises the importance of clear communication about the technology’s objectives to facilitate smoother adoption and minimise resistance among employees.

Drawing from Booyco Electronics’ experience, Lourens highlights the setbacks in safety and productivity that can arise from inadequate change management, stressing the need for employee involvement in the process to foster a sense of ownership and understanding.

The change management strategy at the company begins with a technical readiness assessment to tailor the PDS technology to the unique conditions of each site. It encompasses educating stakeholders about the technology’s capabilities and limitations through specific deployments, managing expectations and providing training that explains the rationale behind the investment and its operational mechanics.

Lourens also underscores the importance of ongoing training and system optimisation based on user feedback to ensure the continuous success and improvement of the PDS technology. Additionally, he cautions against the unintended consequences of technology dependence, advocating for proactive management and continuous education to maintain the safety benefits of PDS implementations.

Source: Supplied by Booyco Electronics