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.
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.
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.
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.
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.