Being a miner is no easy task. Miners travel underground in dark, dank conditions to mine and harvest raw materials. Like any industry, mining has its share of health and safety risks that every employee must know, from lung disorders to psychological traumas. Fortunately, this guide on how to increase safety in mining will help reduce risk and improve safety for any mining operation.
Prepare the Risks
Mining poses many health and safety risks for those involved. Such risks include:
- Pneumoconiosis (a respiratory disease that develops after frequent exposure to fine particulates)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Neurotoxic disorders
- Hearing loss
- Lead toxicity
- Psychological disorders
- Other toxic agent disorders
There are also various safety concerns present in this field, such as exposure to heavy metals, toxic chemicals, claustrophobia, poisoning, or work-related trauma. Therefore, it’s crucial for miners to wear the appropriate equipment every time they go underground and monitor their surroundings to ensure their own protection as well as that of others.
Supervise the Team
Mining operations, like other industries, use supervisors and managers to maintain optimal safety. Supervisors must ensure every miner follows safety protocols and must enforce these rules when applicable. They must track each team member throughout shifts and never allow for disobedience or negligence. Supervisors must also ensure each team member receives the appropriate education and training on equipment usage, safety, and environmental hazards before beginning work.
Hire a Safety Consultant
While it might not seem as imperative, hiring an industrial compliance and safety consultant is another way to increase safety in mining. Third-party consultants invest significant time and energy into each occupational hazard in a variety of industries, including mining. They offer all the necessary safety certifications for miners to ensure each operation is successful. Using a third-party safety consultant also streamlines the process to maintain onsite efficiency, as each team member will have the same education and training to perform their tasks.
Finally, equipment upkeep is also imperative. Even as miners receive their appropriate training and personal protective equipment for on-site tasks, heavy machinery must maintain stable conditioning for continual performance. Routine equipment inspections help prevent build-up and can even prevent equipment failure. Given each piece of heavy machinery’s exposure to dirt, grime, and constant wear, routine upkeep safeguards employees while fulfilling operational duties.