Rock Shedders

An exercise in collaboration

Our CDEC Process of Consultation, Design, Engineering and Construction services was implemented for this project. See how the project turned out to be.

The Challenge

Falling rock debris can be a huge safety issue on mine sites. To prevent this, mines often use temporary scaffolding as rock cover shedders. This was the case for one major iron ore company located in the Pilbara, who operated a conveyor belt with two of these systems attached. These were erected temporarily to protect the workers and assets as the images show.

 

The steel beams and brackets were supported from a brace overhead and placed together with wooden boards. This initial system was found to be unsuitable for the purpose of ensuring the security of the plant equipment. A near catastrophic failure occurred when rocks and debris that had built up on top of the scaffolding shedder caused the boards to collapse under the weight. The collapse damaged the conveyor below the shedder.

The scaffold failure resulted in a shutdown to repair the damage. Even though the scaffolding structure met the initial requirements of protecting the asset, once the debris was caught and piled up, the Safe Working Load (SWL) quickly became redundant. An alternative solution was required for safe work to continue.

The Consultation

Bend-tech was contacted to inspect the area and to discuss possibilities for a long term solution. The client required a strong shield from the falling debris above and an addition to the existing fixed plant equipment.

The Design

A duel Rock Shedder was sketched on site that connected to the existing support beams. This allowed the structure to be able to stand as a part of the existing plant equipment, providing excellent structural integrity.


Inside each rock shedder on both sides of the chute would be a steel sheet that would allow the falling debris to enter into a collection point. Then workers could remove the debris at regular intervals.

The Engineering

Following approval of the design, it was engineered to handle loads and forces associated with the application, ensuring full compliance with certification and with Australian Standards.

The Outcome

Bend-tech’s shedder was fabricated, machined, painted and shipped to the Pilbara mine site. On-site, a team used our provided documentation for the successful installation of the plant equipment.

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