SMD Awarded 2016 NIOSH Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Award for Fan Handler Innovation.

Hanging auxiliary fans in underground M/NM mines is a difficult and potentially hazardous job. Fans are large, up to 54 inches in diameter and over 24 feet in length, and heavy, over 4,000 pounds. Various types of equipment are currently used to lift the fans, often without providing a dedicated safe work location clear of the suspended load. To reduce exposure associated with hanging auxiliary fans, Small Mine Development partnered with JH Fletcher to develop a purpose built fan hanging machine. This machine has cradles to securely hold the fan, and a platform for the workers (miners) to travel up with the fan to complete the installation. The platform travels independently along the length of the fan to allow workers (miners) to secure the fan with a single piece of equipment. With this innovation, workers (miners) are protected from the potential hazards of working around the suspended load.

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