Machinery Safety Systems wins 2014 PACE Mining Award

PACE Zenith Awards 2014: Mining & Minerals Proccessing Award sponsored by Emerson Process Management

WINNER: Machinery Safety Systems (MSS)
Project: Machinery Inspection Operating Control System MiOCS

MiOCS is an electronic, stand-alone access control system that is specifically designed to control the pre-starting and use of machinery by personnel that are unauthorised or untrained.

It is commonly accepted that plant and machinery must undergo pre-start Inspections at the beginning of each shift.

The standard method of recording pre-start is commonly referred to as the “Tick & Flick” carbon book, which is normally kept with the plant or machinery.

The policy of pre-starting plant and machinery is sensible, but this “Tick & Flick” method leaves pre-starting open to abuse with check sheet copies going missing and check sheet books being lost or damaged.

This can equate to a general lack of control. The plant and machinery may be used by other operators during the shift and, should an accident or damage occur, there is no way to establish who was using the machinery at this time.


If you cannot determine who was operating the machinery, you will not know if the person was authorised/ qualified to use it, putting the company and their personnel at risk of contravening HSE regulations and site policies.

The MiOCS system allows the company to control the total process by issuing Access Control Cards to the personnel who are authorised/qualified to carry out Pre-Starts and use the plant and machinery.

As the machinery cannot be used without this card, every time the card is presented the user is logged on in real date/time with all events being stored in the MCU database which auto-syncs with the PDA.

Machinery Safety Systems (MSS) applied for and was granted a Commercialisation Australia Grant for Proof of Concept and Skills & Knowledge to assist in the development of the system.

MSS have now developed a system which is market acceptable and plan to develop the product further to meet market requirements.


Following are the expected development phases over the next year.

Phase 1: MSS is currently busy working on this development. Android based PDA development will deliver a product that will include the function to email reports and faults, as the recently developed M3 PDA.

Phase 2: Expected completion date is end of September 2014
Additional development to add cloud based computing and a webserver. This function will allow the customer to manage faults, etc. more easily than to sorting through a bunch of emails.

Phase 3: Expected completion date is end of December 2014
GPS tracking and cellular communications from the MCU to the webserver. This will allow the customer to update information and track the status of the vehicle/ machinery in real-time.

Phase 4: Expected completion date is end of June 2015
New custom made PCB for the MCU. Firmware for the new MCU PCB. New add-on GPS tracking and cellular communications PCB. Firmware for the new add-on GPS tracking and cellular communications PCB.

The MiOCS system has the additional benefit of identifying the individual undertaking the pre inspection and the data can be further interrogated to see if that individual is appropriately trained to use the equipment and that their training is up to date.

In the event of an incident the MiOCS provides pre inspection data to the reviewer which will assist in identifying if any steps were skipped or ‘red flag’ warning(s) were overlooked.

In the event of persistent mechanical or other operational problems, the data can assist in identifying patterns of breakdowns; are they linked to a particular activity and or operator? This may help in solving or reducing the occurrence of such problems.

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