6 Risks to Prepare For in the Mining Industry

The mining sector is dedicated to the extraction of precious metals and mineral reserves from the earth. The extracted materials are transformed into a mineralized form that serves an economic benefit to both the mining company and the country. However, working in the mining industry has always been dangerous as fatal accidents in mines are a common occurrence worldwide.

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While not all accidents and dangers can be prevented, there are some steps you should take to improve the safety for your workers. Failing to put in adequate safety measures could see you facing serious penalties. Here, we’ll look at 6 risks in the mining industry to be aware of and how to combat them.

1. Dust exposure

While dust may not sound like a particularly harmful risk, it can lead to serious respiratory problems. It is such a common occurrence in the mining industry that it’s been given the term “coal mine dust lung disease”. Some types of respiratory problems cannot be cured, so preventing them is key to your workers safety.

There are numerous dust prevention methods that can be used to combat the issue. Preventing dust from becoming airborne is key and it can be done through water. The type of machinery you use can also determine how much dust is released. Looking at ways to prevent dust build-up is key.

2. Explosions

One of the more serious risks in the industry is the risk of an explosion. This is a particular worry for underground miners. The pipes within underground mines tend to contain flammable gases and chemicals. So, if the ventilation system isn’t maintained, it does pose a risk of an explosion.

Workers should continually check the ventilation system in mines and warning signs should be placed around the mine to remind them of safe practices.

3. Cave ins

There have been a number of cave-ins around the world that have caused devastation within the mining sector. In 2019, 21 miners died in China due to a roof collapse. It is a serious risk that can be difficult to fully prevent. Carrying out regular structural inspections is crucial to maintain the safety of your workers.

4. Electrical hazards

A number of electrical machines need to be used during the mining process. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of shock, fires and falls. If a worker were to get an electric shock, or trip over the equipment, you could end up having to make a large pay-out. You should always have adequate miners’ insurance from Arthur J. Gallagher.

5. Fire

All mines present some kind of fire risk. Even an excess level of dust in the mine can trigger a fire or explosion. The electrical equipment also poses a risk to workers. It’s a good idea to have a fire safety audit carried out before work is undertaken.

6. Noise

Finally, miners are also exposed to high levels of noise. They should be provided with ear protectors to prevent permanent damage. You’ll need to ensure you are providing high-quality protectors for adequate protection.

These are just 6 of the risk’s miners face. It is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, but there are ways to minimise the risks. Making sure you are adequately insured is important. If your workers are to suffer an accident, they need to know they will be protected. Taking appropriate steps to improve the safety of the workplace is important for both you and your employees.

Dealing with Household Hazardous Wastes

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) are leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, pesticides etc. HHW contain potentially hazardous ingredients and require special care and safe disposal. 

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A typical home can contain a vast array of household hazardous wastes used for cleaning, painting, beautifying, lubricating and disinfecting the house, yard, workshop and garage. The chemical-based household products from a single home may seem insignificant; but, when millions of homes use similar products, handling, storing and disposing them improperly may have the combined impact and becomes a major problem.

The health and safety of our families, neighborhoods and environment is threatened when household hazardous waste is stored or disposed of improperly. These products should not be put in the garbage bins or disposed in the storm drains or burned, as they pose a threat to human health and the environment. Thousands of consumer products are hazardous. The general categories are:

  • Automotive products: Gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, car wax and cleaners, lead-acid batteries, brake fluid, transmission fluid etc.
  • Home improvement products: Paint, varnish, stain, paint thinner, paint stripper, caulk, adhesives etc.
  • Pesticides: Insecticide and insect repellent, weed killer, rat and mouse poison, pet spray and dip, wood preservative etc.
  • Household cleaners: Furniture polish and wax, drain opener, oven cleaner, tub and tile cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, spot remover, bleach, ammonia etc.
  • Other: Household batteries, cosmetics, pool chemicals, shoe polish, lighter fluid, prescription medicines etc.

Each year, thousands of people are injured by exposure or accident involving hazardous household products.  Because of the dangers they pose. These products require special awareness, handling, and disposal.  In order to protect health and environment, every consumer should know how to properly use, store, and dispose of hazardous household products. 

Many common household products contain hazardous chemicals.  Once released into the environment, these substances may pose a serious threat to living organisms.  Small quantities of hazardous substances can accumulate over time to reach dangerous levels and contaminate the air, water, and soil. 

Here are some basic guidelines for managing household hazardous wastes:

  • Select the least toxic item and buying only the minimum quantity as required.
  • Read the entire label carefully for health warnings and use good judgment when choosing any product.
  • Store the product at a safe place and away from the children reach.
  • Avoid aerosol products.
  • Always use hazardous products in a well-ventilated area.
  • Never leave containers open.  Many products are volatile, evaporating quickly into the air. 
  • Always seal containers tightly after use.
  • Never mix chemicals and hazardous products. 
  • Do not use spent chemical containers for other purposes.
  • Wear protective clothing such as gloves and a mask when dealing with any hazardous material. 
  • Wash clothing exposed to hazardous materials separately from other clothes.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while using hazardous products.
  • Clean up the place after using hazardous products. Carefully seal products and properly refasten all caps.
  • Never put hazardous products in food or beverage containers.
  • Keep products away from sources of heat, spark, flame or ignition.
  • Know where flammable materials are located in your home and how to extinguish them.
  • Keep a multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher in your home.

Oil Contamination Treatment: How To Deal With Domestic Oil Spills

Having your own private oil tank can be beneficial as you do not have to rely upon the main network which is typically less cost-effective and gives you less control over energy consumption. But having an oil tank installed also has its drawbacks. You have to be extra careful with it as not only its installation is complex but its maintenance requires a lot of hard work.

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From ensuring that all the complex technicalities of installation are met to ensuring that the tank is in proper condition to function, now and then, you have to be careful at every single step.

And if you fail to do so or even lag slightly, you would expose yourself to the possibility of experiencing oil leakage or oil spills.

What happens if domestic oil spills?

If your tank starts spilling oil, the oil won’t just stay there but it will flow out to contaminate the adjacent areas. And if left untreated, it could go on to contaminate groundwater and soil.

This could lead to contamination of wells and water supplies of adjacent properties. Once the water supplies are contaminated, it could cause a myriad of drinking water problems. For example, oil damages the plastic water pipes so when it seeps into the underground water channel, it can affect the water pipelines that will ultimately lead to bad taste and foul odor in the drinking water.

Apart from this, oil spills can have a serious impact on human health as well. The first threat to human health spilled oil is through contaminated drinking water.

The second harmful impact they can have on our health is through disastrous fumes. As all petroleum products contain volatile compounds therefore when the oil is spilled it releases gases. If people nearby inhale these fumes or are surrounded by the vapors that linger in the air longer than usual, they can experience eye irritation, nausea, dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, and disorientation.

However, these symptoms are related to short term exposure to oil fumes. When a person is exposed for a very long time, which could happen if the smell of the fumes does not erupt shortly, then he could experience more serious conditions that would require a doctor’s consultation.

Skin irritation can also arise due to prolonged exposure or contact with the fumes. One could experience redness, severe irritation, and swelling.

How to handle oil spills at home?

Oil spills happen at both small and large scales. The larger ones require proper oil contamination treatment but the smaller ones can be dealt at home. But, this will require all of your attention and efforts. However, a domestic oil spill is not always easy to deal with, especially when the spill is massive and gets out of your hands.

Regardless of that, we should know a few tips and tricks to be well prepared to handle any such mishap because once an oil spill skyrockets, it causes severe damage to the surrounding and human health -as we discussed above.

The first thing that you must do when you have an oil tank placed in your residence, always check it regularly to look for any rusting or other damage to the tank. This way you can easily be one step ahead to deal with any leakage.

Somehow, if you fail to attend to any such damage and the leakage eventually occurs but it is small, place a pan where the tank is leaking to collect the spilling oil before it even touches the ground.

If this too gets out of hands and the oil starts spilling on the floor, try blocking that area to prevent the oil from spreading any further. You can do this by placing small dams as barriers and if that does not work then try using absorbents like cat litter, or sand.

If the flow of the oil dripping from the split of the tank gets a bit controlled then you can easily apply a sealant on the split. However, this is not a permanent solution as sealant only works temporarily. But this should give you enough time to contact professionals who deal with oil contamination treatment.

On the other hand, you have to protect yourself and your family in the midst of dealing with this chaos. This first thing you should do when your home smells of oil is to ensure maximum ventilation.

Open all the windows as well as doors so that the strong oil smell does not accumulate inside. This will also help in warding off the harmful petroleum fumes.

The next thing you have to do is to make sure that all of your family members, and especially children and pets are away from the spill location. If possible, have them evacuate the house for at least the time when the house is cleared of the smell and fumes.

While dealing with the spill, make sure that your skin and clothes do not come in contact with the oil. Remember to avoid smoking, drinking, and eating during and after you finish dealing with the oil spill. Also, try to examine the tank for the origin of the leak, and before doing that, make sure that the oil supply is turned off.

Who deals with the cleaning of oil contamination?

You can take care of the oil spill to some extent, but cleaning is entirely another process. All the things that have been contaminated with the oil, be it water, ground, or soil, only a team of specialists can do it properly.

Therefore, you should first call the professional before taking on the mission of curing the leakage flow, and when the team arrives, you leave the place immediately to ensure your health.

Bottom line

Dealing with domestic oil contamination might not be impossible but it is not recommended. The only thing you must do after calling the professionals is to ensure no one is around the site. Then let the expert team, who come with efficient methods of oil spill clean Up & bioremediation, take care of the rest.

4 Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home

In daily life, we make use of several different gases, liquids, and solids, without which life isn’t livable. And it’s not just oxygen that we use in daily life to keep the heart pumping, but there is an entire list of gases that are essential to keep on with life.

One of the most vital gases among all the other is carbon monoxide. This a potent and valuable gas that charges up heaps of electricity and starts up your cars. It’s essential to know what carbon monoxide is as it is widely used inside homes and can be just as dangerous as it is needed. It is a highly flammable gas that, if left unwatched, can create fire and unimaginable damage. For this reason, below are some ways to manage the carbon monoxide in your home to use it effectively and safely.

Address Issues

Carbon monoxide is a combustible gas and can be quite dangerous to have in a closed space, but it makes for many of the essential procedures used in a home. Your heating system most probably is run by carbon monoxide. And if it experiences a tear and a leak, the house could be in danger of destruction, and the residents could suffocate.

Check your heating and other fuel-burning appliances regularly to avoid any mishaps. It is best to get them maintained each year by professionals who can also check the systems for their effective running.

Install Detectors

Mostly carbon monoxide can be detected by its firm odor similar to that of rotten eggs. This smell helps to give you a heads up to get out of your home and call for help. However, when there is a slight leakage that is undecidable, or the house residents aren’t awake to notice it, the situation can take a turn for the worst.

Some states have laws that require homes to have CO detectors installed. These detectors should be present on each floor, especially the basement and areas where there are fuel appliances and heaters. It is best to make sure the indicators are installed near bedrooms to get alerts while sleeping.

Check the Air Quality

In small houses or congested areas of a home, air can get trapped, and different gases can get clogged, the air quality unhealthy and dangerous to breathe in. Make sure that where you have your oven, furnaces, and fireplaces situated has a proper ventilation system installed. If there are vents already in place, check the air quality and clean them often.

Put Out Burners Effectively

Cooking is a necessity in all homes, and even though many households have replaced gas burners to electric burners, there are still many that use the gas cooking method. The gas used for cooking and heating is carbon monoxide, which is sturdy and highly combustible.

To keep safe from sources like these, make sure not to switch on stoves unnecessarily. Keep your fireplaces and furnaces covered to stop the gas from spreading and lingering in the air. Regularly validate that these places are well kept and clean. Also, make sure that the systems work well.