The mining industry has gained a lot of reputation as a risky business with minor to major health risks. When there is a worker injured on-site, the mining operation and the company are affected. Some factors contribute to mining hazards that companies need to be aware of to maximize productivity and minimize losses.
All companies require mining safety training to prevent common mining accidents. Through companies like SafeSight, cutting-edge solutions are developed that are meant to increase safety in mines. This innovative company collects real-time data for mining companies to gain insight into their underground operations for more efficient planning. Many causes of mining accidents today include mechanical factors, chemical errors, human errors, and environmental errors. Factors that contribute to mining safety hazards are:
Naturally, mines are very noisy sites due to the constant drilling and the heavy machinery used. This means that you could get your hearing damaged when exposed to this noisy environment for a long time. Over-exposure to excess noise can lead to permanent loss of hearing, sleep problems, and concentration issues. Mining companies need to do risk assessments and provide suitable working conditions to protect workers from noise exposure. This can be guaranteed through frequent maintenance of machinery and installing engineering controls where the noise source is and along the paths.
One of the most common causes of mining accidents is due to human error. The mine site is a very dangerous workplace, so it’s important to observe the safety practices to prevent mining accidents. When working in such confined spaces, all workers need to communicate and interact well to avoid exposure to these safety hazards.
There is very little lighting in most mine sites, especially in underground operations, which makes it hard for miners to navigate through effectively. Miners should get proper training on handling equipment and electric malfunctions, which are a leading cause of tragic accidents in mining sites.
The use of explosives in mining sites is one of the factors that contribute to mining safety hazards. When you are not at a safe distance from the blast area, and there is a powerful charge, it could cause death. Premature and misfired explosions resulting from human error cause mining deaths which can otherwise be prevented by exercising caution when using electrical equipment, sparks, or flames that can trigger explosions. There should be proper ventilation in the mines to disperse the accruing explosive substances.
When there are breaks in communication due to such factors as equipment failure, it could trigger an accident. In some cases, ground failure causes mining accidents, a common cause for concern for many mine workers. As there is no distinguished way to prevent accidents caused by ground failure, miners should be trained to be cautious and follow proper work practices to reduce the probability.
On average, thousands of miners die from mining accidents annually from both hard rock and underground mining. Most of these deaths result from negligence and failure to observe the required safety measures when mining. As such, miners must protect themselves in the best way possible.