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Improving Mining Health and Safety

Mining is a dangerous occupation, which is why companies should do all they can to ensure risks are identified and managed. Here are some steps that are vital to making the workplace safer for all when it comes to mining and underground work:

Respiratory Protection

Keeping lungs healthy is key when working in these harsh environments. In the past, miners would suffer with ‘black lungs’ from continually breathing in harmful dust and debris. Every worker at risk from dust or other hazardous contaminants should be using the correct respiratory protection, whether this needs to be a face mask or a more advanced air-fed mask.

Communicating Hazards

When a hazard is present, everyone must know as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary injury. Visual communication of hazards can include items like signage, labels, alarms and buggy whips for hazardous vehicles. For a highly visible Buggy Whip, you’ll find that wisuk sell buggy whips.

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Explosives

Explosive use in mining is fairly commonplace, and because of this familiarity, it might be tempting to take shortcuts. However, every time explosives are used, there must be detailed safety procedures and policies in place surrounding the handling, storing and use of explosives.

Electrical Awareness

Most mines and other industrial zones will use a variety of electrical equipment all the time. These devices often need to be mobile and used in different locations. This means electrical cable stretching through tunnels and corridors, contributing to both trip and electrocution hazards. It’s important to have procedures in place to outline how cables and cords should be used for correct electrical safety.

Fire

Fire is a risk in every workplace but perhaps felt more acutely in a mining environment. Fire could come from sources of natural gas or fuel used to run machinery. Due to the nature of the environment, a traditional fire suppression system isn’t possible, so fire safety policies should be taken very seriously.

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Collapse

Cave-ins can occur when rocks become unstable, falling into the mine. This can cause crushing or trapping. A related incident is collapse, which occurs when the ground surrounding the mine has not been supported properly and collapses in. This is highly dangerous if heavy plant machinery is being driven over areas where there are tunnels below.

Lifting Hazards

Despite being renowned for being tough and strong, miners must still take precautions when lifting various heavy pieces of machinery and objects. The correct methods for lifting must be adhered to in order to avoid leg and back injuries. It’s also important to know when to get help or use specialist lifting equipment.

Any specialist lifting equipment will need someone to operate it who knows how to do so in the correct way, safely and not posing a potential risk to any other workers in the vicinity.

 

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