Is Your Mining Compliance Data Entry Ready for Automation?
Once in a while, you come across a blog title which sounds so promising that it seems like it can answer the exact dilemma you are going through. Then you realize how long it’ll take you to read, that you skip it. Well, if you don’t get to the part of this post where we comprehensively answer the 10 most FAQ’s about data entry automation in the mining sector, then trust us, at least don’t skip the next 3 paragraphs, because they will prime you to upgrade your current technological stack.
The mining industry is constantly experiencing seismic shifts, and compliance data entry is no exception. In the past, your ERP’s basic data capture forms were enough to report incidents and accidents. However, according to the Mining Health and Safety Association, over 70% of incidents and accidents in the mining industry are still caused by human error and research shows that it can reach even 90%. As a result, mining companies are under immense pressure to upgrade their data entry processes to ensure security, transparency and accuracy to prevent further accidents. And if done right, automating data entry will not only greatly reduce the risk of human error, resulting in safer working conditions for miners while reducing carbon footprint, but frankly you’ll also see increasing yields.
But with all the digital transformation jargon, don’t worry if you haven’t made the switch to automation yet. It’s not too late. In fact, now is the perfect time to chose a partner with whom to upgrade and revolutionize your data collection. By using proven methods, and advanced digital forms that seamlessly integrate with your current systems and workflows, you can quickly streamline the compliance reporting process and easily improve accuracy. Not only will this save time and resources, but it will also improve the safety of your workers.
However, we understand that some mining companies may be hesitant to make the switch to modern digital forms. Hearing that generic SAAS solutions store their data in an uncompliant cloud solution, or having experienced their ERP provider’s inability to give you acceess to your data. That’s where we come in. Our proven dedication to helping mining companies make a smooth transition to automation, providing tailor-made solutions and an unmatched support throughout the entire process – sets us apart. In this article, we will answer the 10 most frequently asked questions about future-proofing your mining data entry automation, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision for your company. Here we go:
Question 1: How can data entry automation help mining health and safety supervisors to reduce errors in reporting incidents and accidents?
Data entry automation can significantly reduce errors in reporting incidents and accidents by eliminating the need for manual data entry, which is often prone to human error or even tempering. With data entry automation, compliance supervisors can capture data directly from sources like QR Codes, Iot or digital twins and eliminate the need for paper-based data entry, which can be lost or incorrectly transcribed. Additionally, automation can help to standardize data collection, trigger workflows and reports with hand selected systems, without human intervention, ensuring that all data is collected in a consistent and accurate manner.
By implementing data entry automation, your field team can reduce the time and effort required to enter data, enabling them to focus more on analyzing and interpreting data. This can help to identify patterns and trends in wear and tear, as well as accident and incident data more quickly. Allowing supervisors to take corrective action before incidents occur, even updating their in-app training instructions instantly.
Question 2: What are the key benefits of implementing data entry automation in the mining process?
The key benefits of implementing data entry automation in mining operations are numerous. First and foremost, automation can improve the accuracy and quality of data entered into compliance reports, reducing the risk of errors or omissions that can result in fines or other penalties. Additionally, automation can help to streamline the compliance reporting process while reducing paper handling costs, saving you the time and resources required to prepare and submit reports.
Automation can also enable compliance supervisors to analyze compliance data more effectively, identifying trends and patterns that may require corrective action. Finally, automation can help to reduce the burden of manual data entry, freeing you to focus on higher-value activities.
Question 3: What are the best practices for mining health and safety supervisors to ensure smooth integration of data entry automation into their workflow?
To ensure a smooth integration of data entry automation into their workflow, mining health and safety supervisors should partner with the right vendor or consultant who specializes in heavy industries as opposed to offering generic digital form solutions at low prices. Then you have to build a user journey and use cases and go through several key steps. First, they should identify the specific areas of their workflow that would benefit the most from automation, focusing on processes that are currently manual, paper-based or which simply are not flexible enough to be compatible with crucial systems.
Once these areas have been identified, decision makers and the external advisory partners should work closely with internal IT teams and other stakeholders to select the appropriate technology solutions and ensure that they are properly integrated into existing systems. Additionally, compliance supervisors should exercise wise change management strategies to provide comprehensive training and support to employees who will be using the new technology, ensuring that even the most reluctant of them understand how to use it effectively and efficiently.
Question 4: Can data entry automation help to identify potential risks and hazards more quickly?
Yes, data entry automation can help mine supervisors to identify potential risks and hazards more quickly by enabling them to capture data in real-time and analyze it more effectively. By using Progressive Web App technology for uninterrupted and offline data collection, as well as mid-inspection notifications and pre-programed API triggers, you can access crucial data automatically and in virtually real-time. Compliance supervisors can then identify potential hazards or risks before they result in incidents or accidents.
Additionally, this kind of advanced automation can help to standardize data collection, ensuring that all relevant data is captured consistently and accurately. This can enable compliance supervisors to identify patterns and trends more quickly, allowing them to take corrective action before incidents occur.
Question 5: How can data entry automation streamline the process of generating and submitting compliance reports in the mining industry?
Data entry automation can streamline the process of generating and submitting multiple types of reports without multiple actions by reducing the time and resources required for manual data entry, report preparation or distribution. By automating data entry, compliance supervisors can capture data directly from the source, send selected parts to one system, other parts to a different department, a summarized report and a full report to the right individuals, save these actions as one custom template and eliminate the need for manual transcription or data entry.
Additionally, automation can enable inspection field teams to generate compliance reports more quickly and easily, using standardized templates, formats, training notes, individual or group instructions, and even collaborate remotely mid-process. This can help to ensure that compliance reports are submitted on time and according toi regulations, reducing the risk of fines or other penalties.
Question 6: What are the potential cost savings associated with using data entry automation in mining health and safety compliance processes?
In addition to reducing errors and improving efficiency, data entry automation can also lead to significant cost savings for mining companies. By streamlining the compliance process and reducing the need for manual data entry, companies are now measuring which operating systems give them a positive ROI, which software or process is redundant, and then they can reduce labor costs and allocate resources more effectively. Additionally, automated data entry can help identify potential safety hazards more quickly, feed predictive data reducing wear and tear on tools and machines, reducing the risk of costly accidents or legal disputes.
Moreover, automated data entry can also provide more accurate and detailed reporting, which can help mining companies avoid fines and penalties associated with non-compliance. By maintaining compliance with safety regulations, companies can attract new investments and avoid costly downtime or legal fees that can impact the bottom line.
Question 7: How can mining health and safety compliance supervisors ensure the accuracy and quality of data entered through automation?
While data entry automation can greatly reduce the likelihood of errors, it is still important for supervisors to verify the accuracy and quality of the data entered periodically. One way to do this is to set reminders to implement a system of checks and balances, where AI or multiple individuals review and verify data. Additionally, supervisors can set up automated alerts and notifications to flag any inconsistencies or errors in the data before it is entered into the system.
It is also important for regulators to review and update their data entry processes and systems, to ensure they are aligned with industry best practices and regulatory standards. This can include conducting regular audits of data entry processes and systems, and providing ongoing training and support to employees to ensure they are using the technology effectively.
Question 8: What are the challenges that mining health and safety inspectors may face while implementing data entry automation in their processes?
One of the main challenges that compliance supervisors may face when implementing data entry automation is resistance from employees who are accustomed to traditional manual data entry processes. Additionally, there may be technical challenges associated with integrating automated data entry systems with existing legacy systems and processes.
Another challenge when choosing to use a Cloud, an On-Premise or Hybrid solution can be ensuring data access, compliance, security and privacy, particularly in light of increasing concerns around cyber threats and data breaches. Compliance supervisors will need to ensure that sensitive data is protected, and that the system is designed to prevent unauthorized access or manipulation of data.
Question 9: Can data entry automation help miners to better manage and analyze their compliance data?
Yes, if done right, data entry automation can provide compliance supervisors with more accurate, detailed and timely data, which can be used to identify trends and patterns related to safety incidents and accidents. This data can help supervisors to better understand the root causes of safety issues, and to implement more effective corrective actions to prevent future incidents.
If done wrong, your data may be at the mercy of a provider who does not specialize in industrial-grade data management, may ignore your level of urgency or your specific data structure needs or workflow triggers.
Furthermore, data entry automation can help improve the overall management and organization of compliance data, allowing supervisors to quickly and easily access the information they need to collaborate and make informed decisions. By providing a centralized repository for compliance data, data entry automation can help ensure that information is easily accessible and up-to-date, reducing the likelihood of errors or inconsistencies in reporting.
Question 10: How can mining operations measure the success of data entry automation in their compliance processes?
Measuring the success of data entry automation in compliance processes can involve a number of different metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). One important KPI is the accuracy and quality of compliance data, as well as the timeliness and efficiency of reporting. With intelligently re-allocated resources, you can also now add more data capture points like IOT’s, computer vision, GPS check points and other sensors to have more context to work with, without increasing the amount of time or the size of your field team.
Other metrics that can be used to measure the success of data entry automation include the reduction of errors and incidents, the time and cost savings associated with the automation of data entry processes, and the level of employee satisfaction and engagement with the new system.
Ultimately, the success of data entry automation in compliance processes will depend on the specific goals and objectives of the organization, as well as the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the mining industry. By setting clear goals and KPIs, and regularly reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of the system, compliance supervisors will make sure to future-proof their careers and your operations.
Why is it important to chose a digital transformation partner specialized in data collection applications and data center management over a simple form builder vendor?
Because mining safety, compliance and risk management varies greatly across the globe , you need an outside team who can work with your inside team to pivot and adapt quickly.
Because you need a team who can keep up and respect the realities of how the Mine Safety and Health Acts have made advanced safety standards compulsory in order to enhance safety and improve working conditions in mining. [2,3,4,5]
Because you know that the mining industry is subject to a wide range of international health and safety regulations changes, including those established by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) so you need a data collection partner who can answer your call ASAP. 
It is important to acknowledge that as mining activities shift toward more demanding and exposed environments, mining operations become increasingly intricate and demanding. This reality is driven by the growing need to extract valuable resources from deeper and harder-to-reach locations. As a result, the industry faces unique challenges that must be addressed in order to ensure safe and efficient mining operations. Therefore, it is essential that mining companies adopt new technologies and strategies to manage the complexity of their operations and improve their overall performance. 
We realize that most digital form sellers are in the market to sell generic solutions and partnering with heavy industries long term would require them to eliminate lower-tiered offers cutting into their profits. They may not have the setup or expertise to partner with your IT team, to create user journeys, to get their business analytics team to evaluate your technological stack, build business cases or to get an outside CTO to do a future-proofing assessment, but they will be cheaper short term than a full service industry grade only data collection team.
1: Elgstrand, Kaj & Vingard, Eva (2013): Occupational Safety and Health in Mining. Anthology on the situation in 16 mining countries. In: Arbete och Hälsa, vol 47/2. University of Gothenburg.
2: Safety and Health in European Mining: http://ltu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:995436/FULLTEXT01.pdf
3: Mine Safety in the UK: https://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/index.htm
4: Mine Safety regulations in Australia: http://web.archive.org/web/20210318051719/https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/industry_business/mining
5:Safety and Health in European Mining: http://ltu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:995436/FULLTEXT01.pdf
6: Safety and Health in Mines Convention (1995, No. 176) http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_INSTRUMENT_ID:312321
7: Hartmann, Howard & Mutmansky, Jan (2002): Introductory mining engineering. Wiley: Hoboken.
Adrian Borowski, does market and marketing research for NéOSYNERGIX and nSpek Inc.
Fact-Checked / Peer-Reviewed:
Adrien Corbin, A full stack developer, data management specialist and business analyst at Néosynergix and nSpek Inc.