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Test protocols for credible performance assessment of safety products

Date Wed 3 February 2021, 10:00
- Wed 3 February 2021, 11:00
We are no longer accepting registration for this event

Topic: Test protocols for credible performance assessment of safety products

Fee: R100
Free registration for students and retired SAIMM members
3 February 2021 @ 10:00am

Riaan BerghPresenter: Riaan Bergh

Topic: Test protocols for credible performance assessment of safety products


Riaan Bergh is passionate about performance testing of safety products. He has 18 years’ experience in structural testing in the mining industry. Bergh developed and honed his skill in the early years of his career as the test engineer of an engineering consulting firm. There he learned the value of establishing a clear understanding of the operating environment of the item under test and in particular of the service loads imposed on the item.

Bergh joined the CSIR in 2010, heading up the mechanical and wire rope testing activities at the well-known Cottesloe laboratories. As the manager of the CSIR Mining Cluster’s Mining Testing and Training Impact Area, Bergh believes that product testing plays an important role in providing a safe work environment in South Africa’s mines.


The CSIR laboratories at Cottesloe perform a variety of safety related tests for the mining industry. This includes statutory testing such as winder rope front end samples and self-contained self-rescuers as well as testing of mine support products, lifting and hoisting equipment and a wide variety of miscellaneous equipment tested to determine either ultimate strength (destructive testing) or to determine if an item is fit for purpose (proof load testing).

Testing according to local (SANS) or international standard test methods are always preferred. However, in many cases a standard test method is not available for a particular type of test item. In such cases the test method should be agreed between the customer and the test laboratory. The CSIR is aware that many of the companies submitting items for testing supply those items to the mines i.e. the mines are the end-users. The mines have legal responsibility for the safety of their employees and therefore the requirements of the mine should also be taken into consideration when agreeing on the test protocol of safety related products. The CSIR has noted that non-standard test requests sometimes do not provide a good approximation of the performance of the product in its actual use case. When this happens, the customer is engaged to confirm a test protocol that would provide a good evaluation of product performance in the actual use case. It would be better still, however, if the test protocol was informed from the outset by a requirement from the mine's side to test in a way that provides a reasonable approximation of the actual use case. Such an approach will ensure that test results are more likely to provide the product manufacturer and the end user (the mine) with credible safety performance information on which purchasing and application decisions can be based.

In this webinar we will illustrate, through a number of case studies, the importance of proper definition of service loads and selection of appropriate test protocol. A simple yet effective approach is proposed to arrive at a test protocol that will yield credible results. Finally, the cost and benefits of a sound test approach is weighed against the risk associated with unreliable test results.