Mining companies and miners must always be involved with mine safety. The past few generations of miners have had many safety improvements, but more are needed.
Companies and miners should prevent cave-ins with proper ground control, including pillar design, roof supports and horizontal stress supports.
Confined space fire and explosions can be minimized by keeping flammables isolated and labeled. Fire suppression systems and well-labeled evacuation routes are critical.
Electrical mine safety can prevent fires and electrocution if cabling is visible and properly placed. Explosive dust and fume dangers can be avoided with ventilation systems, and personal respirators and other PPE.
If there is an accident, an Emergency Response Preparation plan should be in place, including onsite help for small injuries and quick transport to a local emergency room for larger injuries.
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Dan Clark: Hello, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.
Mine safety. It seems that mine safety is always in the news, mostly because of cave-ins. Cave-ins are common accidents that can cut off workers from oxygen, food and water.
Prevention methods for the structure include the pillar design. Use pillars that will provide adequate support, and put them in the right locations according to your engineering studies.
The roof supports. They’re used to prevent rocks and loose gravel from caving in.
And horizontal stress supports. They hold up the sidewalls in the mines.
Fires and explosions are safety risks inside of a mine. The heat or sparks from machinery can ignite flammable gases and can create a very dangerous situation leading to a cave in. To help prevent them:
-Keep flammable gases and liquids away from heat sources.
–Label those flammable substances with GHS labels.
-Have an effective fire suppression system, and…
-Make sure miners understand evacuation routes.
Electrical issues can be a big safety item. Most machinery in mines runs on electricity instead of fossil fuels, so workers don’t have to deal with breathing the exhaust. But when you have electrical power you have electrical power cables. And cables in areas where workers step can lead to electrocution or fires. To prevent these risks:
-Organize the cabling properly, and…
-Make sure they are visible.
Dust and fumes issues. Excavating rock creates a lot of dust. Dust and fumes pose short and long-term health risks. To prevent them, make sure:
-The mine has adequate ventilation, and…
-Provide employees with individual air supplies and masks. It’s an expensive investment but worth it.
And once you’ve done all of those things, don’t forget the Emergency Response Preparation. Having a plan to follow will minimize injuries and fatalities in mines.
-Have someone on-site who can treat small injuries.
-Have a plan for fast transportation to nearby hospitals for major injuries, and…
-Have a different response plan for each specific mining site.
That’s it for this episode. Come back for more tips and techniques on how to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, cosponsored by Creative Safety Supply. See the website at creativesafetysupply.com