Safety Tips to Prevent Mining Accidents
Mining is a risky occupation where accidents could occur for several reasons, including machinery malfunctions, slips, explosions, hazardous gas leaks, and cave-ins. According to a Statista report, 37 US miners died from work-related accidents in 2021.
This statistic might make your stomach churn if you’re a mining worker. Nonetheless, it’s possible to avert life-threatening and fatal mining incidents.
This guide examines seven safety tips mine workers must adopt to prevent mining accidents.
Let’s get started!
7 Tips to Reduce Mining Accidents
Albeit unforeseen and unintentional, mining accidents are preventable. Here are seven tips you’d need to incorporate as a mine worker or supervisor to reduce the probability of work-related accidents occurring:
Aerial view of a mining site
#1. Understand the Hazards Linked to Mining
To prevent mining accidents, you must first recognize the hazards inherent in this occupation. Accept that numerous dangers exist in this industry, and alertness while working is non-negotiable.
Once you’re in a mining environment, bring your A-game and ensure you’re cautious about everything. Being careful when working in a mine shield you and other workers from encountering mining mishaps.
#2. Use Safety Equipment
Whether your part of a team mining iron ore or coal, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is a must!
You might feel more flexible and comfortable working without mining PPE. However, safety equipment could be the difference between life and death when a mining accident occurs.
If you’re managing a mining crew, ensure you and other team members don safety glasses, earplugs, hard hats, and fire-resistant clothing. Numerous workers have survived fatal mining incidents by wearing PPE.
#3. Outline Safety Procedures
When a mining accident happens, employees or team members must know how to handle it.
However, they won’t get this knowledge out of the blues. As a mining team leader, you must clearly outline possible accident formats and follow-up actions to ensure they don’t spiral out of control. Also, you can add the contact information of personnel employees should reach when certain incidents occur.
To ensure workers are in sync with these procedures, place associated signs in visible spots. That way, they’ll take cognizance of these instructions and apply them when needed.
#4. Keep Up With the Latest Safety Standards
A closer look at mining accidents reveals that most stem from ignoring safety standards. If you work for a mining company, ensure all featured safety equipment undergoes routine services tallying the latest safety standards.
Once an item doesn’t meet safety standards, replace it. Although this might make your team renege on deadlines, it’s better to be safe than work with the risk of impending doom. Never allow a team member to use outdated safety equipment, even if it’s only for a short timeline.
Miners should only use regularly serviced equipment when executing tasks
#5. Production Goals Should Never Outshine Safety
As a mining team supervisor planning a time-sensitive endeavor, you might be tempted to cut corners to reach deadlines, save costs, and boost revenue. However, letting production goals outshine safety prerequisites is a move that can wreak untold havoc in the long run.
Before embarking on a mining project, conduct risk evaluations. Once you uncover a potential risk, give your workers instructions on how to weave past these risks without hassles. As such, they’ll be cautious, reducing the possibility of mining accidents to the barest minimum.
#6. Opt for Safety Training
Safety training raises risk awareness in new and experienced miners, improving overall reactions when dealing with mining incidents.
Federal legislation recommends annual refresher training to help mining workers grasp updated safety standards and procedures, job hazards, improvements, and reporting gaps. Miners can also apply for simulation programs that sharpen the skills required to utilize high-tech tools.
NOTE: The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MHSA) has diverse training programs and courses mining workers can execute in person or virtually. You can find related courses here.
#7. Incorporate Underground Lighting
Reduced visibility can result in minor or significant mining accidents, as miners will most likely make mistakes when operating equipment in low-light conditions.
Underground lighting makes these errors almost nonexistent as they provide the visibility required to work efficiently. However, before installing lighting systems, ensure their architecture permits smooth functioning even in adverse weather conditions.
Although we can’t guarantee you’ll be able to thwart all mining-related accidents, utilizing specific safety tips can prevent numerous mining incidents.
This guide examined seven safety tips to avoid mistakes that inflict harm on yourself and other team members while mining. As such, the possibility of mining accidents cropping up is at an all-time low!