Always prioritising miner safety

An image of the MacLean Engineering GR5 Grader in an underground mine

UNDERGROUND EQUIPMENT SAFETY MacLean Engineering strives to produce mining equipment that ensures improved safety practices. The company's GR5 grader is seen here in an underground mine

10th November 2023

By: Trent Roebeck

Features Reporter


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Since its establishment by Don MacLean in the 1970s and 80s, underground mining equipment manufacturer MacLean Engineering has kept its promise of producing mining equipment that ensures improved safety practices and boosts productivity.

To achieve the safety pledges made to clients, the company ensures that “it is always there when a client needs them to be”, ensuring that all equipment and machinery are in good, working condition, and safe to use.

Mining equipment by MacLean Engineering reduces the human interaction required for its operation, thus ensuring that mineworkers at operator level are distanced from exposure to risks.

Meanwhile, MacLean Engineering is also efficient in its transition to contributing towards environmental preservation in the mining industry through diesel-free operations.

In this regard, the company has supplied more than 50 fully electric mining vehicles to various mining locations around the globe, logging hundreds of thousands of operating hours since the launch of the company’s fleet electrification programme in 2016.

“MacLean Engineering equipment focuses on safe operation and promotes improved ergonomics. With advanced technology developments within the company, this is improved even more, and will see the operator moved even further away from the direct exposure to the risk at hand,” says MacLean Engineering marketing and communications VP Stuart Lister.

Meanwhile, MacLean Engineering product management VP Maarten van Koppen attended the Mines Rescue Conference in South Africa, which took place from October 1 to 5, to discuss battery safety and the importance of conducting thorough research on safety before selecting mobile equipment.

These two discussion points are important for ensuring safety in underground mining environments, he notes.

“The main reason for presenting at this international conference was to open up the discussion on battery electric fires in front of the global first-responder community. We see it as our responsibility as an original-equipment manufacturer to share the lessons learnt.”

Although the company has done such presentations to a more regional audience before, it recognised that there was more it could do to disseminate the information and share its perspective, Van Koppen adds.

Over the past few years, MacLean Engineering has recorded “exponential growth” on the African continent and maintains a good record regarding service and support.

“MacLean Engineering maintains a ‘Made in Africa, for Africa’ promise of conducting in-country assembly, parts supply, and continentwide support of fleets of a hundred or more units,” says MacLean Engineering GM John-Paul Theunissen.

Going forward, the company is looking to grow its mining vehicle fleet presence in West Africa to expand its safety-enhancing products and services for mines in the Francophone countries of the continent.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer



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