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.

7 Tips To Ensure Sustainable Mining Operations

While the mining sector is said to contribute significantly to the global economy, nevertheless, it can cause serious irreversible damage to the environment. Its use of natural resources like water, carbon, land, and energy may cause severe harm to the planet’s soil, leaving it very vulnerable to processes like soil erosion. Additionally, reckless mining may lead to pollution, depletion of natural resources, and many more.

Fortunately, players in the mining industry are believed to be starting to take action to offset the negative impacts of years of irresponsible mining and extraction of minerals. Some companies are now opting to use energy efficient fabric structures for mining operations as a step forward. These structures help minimize the negative impact that mining has on the environment.

ways to make mining more sustainable

Are you a mining site manager or owner, a shareholder in the mining industry, and the like looking for ways to turn your current business model into a safer and much more environment-friendly alternative? Here’s a look at more ways to make mining more sustainable:

1. Use Eco-Friendly Equipment

It’s believed that more and more companies are now moving towards battery-driven mining equipment. Battery-driven options are said to be more environmentally friendly compared to diesel-driven options. This shift in options can significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that mining operations usually produce.

There’s also a need to adopt more advanced and durable equipment to avoid high machinery turnover rates. Damaged equipment also poses a risk to the planet. For example, equipment breakdowns may cause rubber or plastic sheds and others. Mining companies can reduce equipment costs and how much rubber and plastic their operations emit into the environment. This can be done by the exclusive use of electrical mining equipment.

2. Ensure Proper Waste Disposal

There are guidelines to how mining byproducts are disposed of per laws and regulations, which some mining companies unfortunately ignore. This doesn’t help the situation as far as eco-friendly initiatives are concerned. Companies should shy away from improper industrial waste disposal by abiding by enforced rules.

3. Adopt Lower-Impact Mining Techniques

Commonly used mining methods like open pit and underground mining come with very serious risks to nature. Mining operators are advised to move towards low-impact mining techniques like in-situ leaching.

Using low-impact mining techniques will reduce soil erosion as well as move less material needing backfilled. This is a win-win for the mineworkers and the environment because they get to work efficiently using greener mining means.

4. Shut Down Illegal Mining

Illegal miners don’t abide by regulations that reduce environmental impact. It’s regarded that the illegal mining industry has a sizeable hold of the overall economy although it brazenly brushes off safety rules. Additionally, illegal mining is often conducted on land coverages not suited for large-scale mining and adversely affect the surrounding communities.

Take that and illegal miners’ disregard for safety and environmental mining regulations and you have a complete disaster. Preventing illegal mining activities will go a long way in ensuring all mining activities abide by the same regulations and environmental standards to encourage accountability.

5. Conduct Consultations With Different Mining Industry Stakeholders

It’s generally advised that mining managers prepare and set up periodic consultations with different stakeholders that have a relation with their mines. Participants may include local community leaders, environment experts, and non-profit organizations specializing in sustainable mining operations. These consultations can focus on ensuring that mining operations are up to standard and safe. Other sustainability-related concerns can be hashed out during these meetings.

Many groups regard that the method mentioned above is also a means to deal with similar woes in the mining industry like unlawful businesses still carrying out their operations.

6. Improve Manufacturing Process Efficiency

You can make it your goal to consistently and closely monitor the standard mining supply chain. This can help you identify the areas in which you need improvement where promoting eco-friendly manufacturing processes is concerned. It’s important to be flexible in the way you think as well as the management or supervisory tools you use.

mining industry hazards

You should adopt management tools that promote or cushion the company’s transition into less environmentally-harmful processes of resource use in today’s modern society. Bear in mind that the business world is forever evolving. Thus, the processes, as well as technology used for business, also continue to change and gear towards efficiency and eco-friendliness.

7. Replenish The Environment

Replanting trees, natural forestry, site inspections, and replenishing native soils and grasses can work to increase the environmental sustainability of mining activities. Rather than continuously taking from the environment, giving back to it can help restore it and make it a safer place for everyone to enjoy.

Conclusion

Mining operations often have negative impacts on the well-being of the miners along with the environment. However, this doesn’t have to continue to be the case. Use this insightful guide to help you carry out your mining activities sustainably and lawfully.