NIOSH Mine Safety & Health Technology Innovation Award

presenting award with capitol building in background

LYNCHBURG, VA, November 13, 2023 – Innovative Wireless Technologies, Inc. (IWT), in collaboration with Arch Resources, has been honored with the prestigious National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 2023 Mine Safety & Health Technology Innovation Award for the coal sector. The award recognizes the innovative use of IWT’s SENTINEL™ Wireless Gas Monitors at Arch Resources’ Leer Mine.

NIOSH created the Technology Innovations Award to acknowledge extraordinary efforts in applying technology to enhance safety and health in mining operations beyond mandatory requirements. Jarrett Lewis, Communications Manager at Arch Resources’ Leer Mine, accepted the award at a ceremony held in Washington D.C. on October 19, 2023.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this award for our collaboration with Arch Resources’ Leer Mine,” said IWT CEO Eric Hansen. “This recognition is a testament to our unwavering dedication to advancing safety and health in the coal sector through cutting-edge technology. At IWT, we firmly believe that innovation should be at the forefront of ensuring the well-being of miners, and this award underscores that commitment.”

Under a NIOSH research grant, IWT developed the Wireless Gas Monitor (WGM), featuring an innovative, multi-sensor platform providing real-time situational awareness and visibility into atmospheric conditions.

In selecting a platform for atmospheric monitoring, Arch Resources prioritized scalability and compliance with both current and future regulations. Leer chose IWT’s WGM for its MSHA-certified gas sensors, meeting the high standards for National Recognized Test Lab (NRTL) approval in gas detection and accuracy. This assurance of compliance not only met current regulatory requirements but positioned Leer Mine for future regulatory changes. In addition, the WGM seamlessly integrated with Leer’s existing large-scale mesh communication and tracking system.  The WGM operates on battery power, eliminating the need for additional equipment, speeding up section/longwall moves, and provides increased flexibility in deployments.

Initially adopted for gas monitoring, the WGM proved to be a versatile solution with capabilities beyond expectations. Arch ventilation engineers, working closely with IWT, validated the performance of the WGMs over six months, aligning and correlating data between deployed WGMs and Leer’s third-party equipment. The technology, now fine-tuned, provides Leer Mine with daily confidence in real-time gas readings and ventilation metrics. Furthermore, Arch Leer, having tested the WGMs in charging station areas for gas performance, expanded their use to CO and hydrogen compensating sensors integrated into C&T and FactoryTalk automation systems using IWT ServerLink™ OPC interface. Recognizing additional safety benefits, the engineering team at Arch Leer collaborated with IWT engineers to develop advanced machine learning algorithms and multi-sensor fusion techniques, enhancing performance to meet the mine’s evolving needs.

Arch Resources, across multiple mine sites, is currently using 175+ IWT Wireless Gas Monitors for detecting hazardous gases (CH4), fire detection (CO), and specific multi-gas applications. The platform aligns seamlessly with Arch’s culture and commitment to continuous improvements in efficiency and safety. To date, IWT has deployed 500+ Wireless Gas Monitors in the mining industry.

About IWT:

Innovative Wireless Technologies, Inc. (IWT) is a full-service engineering solutions provider specializing in wireless solutions for commercial, industrial, public safety and defense markets.  IWT is a leading supplier of wireless communication, tracking and data systems for underground mining and tunneling operations, and provides engineering and technical consultation to several governmental defense agencies and public safety equipment manufacturers.


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