Safety in Mining - How to Avoid Injuries and Accidents

By: howie


Every mining camp has its own safety supervisors who make sure the staff and workers are aware of their surroundings. In most cases, though, it's up to the individual to make sure he avoids potential injuries and accidents. Here are some tips:

Crushing Injuries

These types of injuries usually occur among miners working in areas where large boulders are present, whether on the surface or underwater. What usually happens is that large boulders move and fall as miners dig around them. To prevent this kind of incident, always make sure you cover dug areas you are already done working on to prevent imbalance that may cause huge rocks to move. Never assume that just because a boulder may seem immovable, it won't move at all, because it can and it will if you are not too careful. In the same manner, never crawl underneath a large boulder even if the area seems to be a perfect location to work on. If it is really necessary, make sure you use a prybar.

Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

Working directly in the mines require that you are physically fit, but aside from that, you should also be ready as you can be exposed to extreme heat that can cause heat exhaustion and dehydration. For this reason, always use your common sense when you know you will be working in areas with high temperatures for extended hours. Before proceeding to the site, make sure you are well hydrated, and see to it that you bring an adequate amount of water, juice, or sports drink like Gatorade to drink. Avoid working long straight hours, too, but take breaks to rest in the shade and to rehydrate.

Hypothermia

Aside from heat, another element you could be battling when working in the mines is cold. If you are mining in elevated areas or even in lower areas where the climate is cold, the weather can quickly turn nasty and may leave you with hypothermia if you are not dressed for the occasion. To prevent such incident, make sure you wear the proper working attire for cold climates. Wear layers of clothes if possible to keep yourself warm. Wear a pair of gloves as well and a pair of weather boots.

Slips, Falls, and Drowning

These are also very common incidents that occur in mining camps, but with common sense and safety awareness, you can avoid them altogether. Slips and falls usually occur in wet areas or areas where miners need to tread narrow pathways. When working in such conditions, be sure to wear boots or any type of working shoes that have non-slip soles. Never be in a hurry when walking through slippery paths and make sure you have a walking stick to support you. When dredging in deep waters, make sure you work with a partner and avoid fast-flowing currents as much as possible.

There are other many common incidents that can occur in the mining camp aside from these, but regardless of the situation, the best thing you can do when working in the mines is to have a buddy to work with. Most mining companies require that miners work in pairs so that in case something goes wrong, either of the pair can call for help. For more information on mining safety, you might also want to check out MiningIQ.

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Howard Smith is a corporate consultant, focusing on fund administration, debt collection, and wealth management. He was also involved in the mining business for quite some time in the past. He recommends you find out more about mining safety by visiting MiningIQ website.

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