Intelligent Video Being Tested for Mine Safety Solutions

St. Louis, MO (Aug. 9, 2007) Arteco, an industry leader in the field of Intelligent Video Solutions (IVS), is working with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Spokane Research Laboratory, to help the mining industry cut down on work-related injuries and deaths.

The overall goal of NIOSH is the prevention of illnesses, injuries, and deaths caused by hazards on the job. According to NIOSH, significant safety improvements have been made in the mining industry within the last century, but the risk of being killed in mining is still nearly six times greater than in general industry and the risk of being injured is double that of other industries.

There are many factors involved in accidents, and safety procedures are in place to protect the workers. “The mining companies have “lock out – tag out” safety procedures that are in place, but unfortunately not everyone follows them,” says Steve Birkmeier, Vice President of Marketing for Arteco. “People will work on high voltage power equipment without cutting the power, or not turn off conveyor belt systems when they should. Since it is impossible to continually watch all worker movements, mining companies are looking for a more pro-active safety solution.”

NIOSH is testing the Arteco Intelligent Video Solution (IVS) system in a variety of different circumstances to determine if it has potential to improve machine safety. Intelligent Video uses a proprietary algorithm to identify abnormalities within a digital image such as movement within a controlled space. This allows the system to count and recognize objects, people and situations and will pre-empt potential dangerous situations.

The goal is that if a certain camera has an event, like someone getting too close to the conveyor belt, removing a guard off of a pulley, or working with high voltage and not following proper procedures, the system will generate an alarm to notify the control room or other personnel. If the video system is reliable enough, it may even be used to shut down the machinery (or prevent startup) in certain hazardous situations.

“Our testing involved regular size detection zones, camera angles from the front of the conveyor belt, angles from the side of the conveyor belt, ground level camera angles and high up angles on a scissor lift,” said Birkmeier. “We tested in pitch black areas to see how the system worked with Infrared compared to thermal, as well as a variety of action scenarios. The beauty of the IVS is that it is so adaptable and can be customized and integrated into virtually any application.”