Safety procedures are always important, but they’re absolutely vital for those working in mines. Learn how to keep yourself and your fellow miners safe.
It’s no secret that mining is one of the most dangerous jobs you can do in this world. Even with all the right precautions, tragedy still occurs from time to time. While human beings can’t control every factor, there are many things miners can do to mitigate risks. Learn the five most essential safety practices for miners.
Mining Safety at a Glance
In this article, we prepared safety instructions for working in a mine. Here are the tips at a glance:
- Always wear a respirator.
- Attach heat sensors to conveyor belt rollers.
- Keep an eye out for heat stress.
- Communicate anything unusual.
- Use gas detectors.
Use a Respirator
Mines are full of natural gases and chemicals that are toxic to the human body. When you’re a miner, it’s vital that you protect your eyes, nose, and mouth from inhaling any of these gases. To do so, you’ll use a respirator, which can filter out the poisonous fumes. In some cases, you may also need to use a respirator with oxygen or even a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
Watch Out for Overheated Rollers
If your mine uses conveyor belts with rollers, it’s important to know that they can explode if they overheat. Overheating happens when a roller stops working correctly, creating more heat from the increased friction. If the rollers are covered in dust, they have the fuel they need for a fire. To avoid this problem, all rollers should be attached to sensors.
Know the Signs of Heat Stress
Mines are hot and poorly ventilated, making heat stress a major danger. When a person experiences heat stress, they may get dizzy, leading to headaches, nausea, and physical weakness. If you suspect someone near you has heat stress, encourage them to see a safety officer immediately.
Good communication is one of the best tools you have for keeping yourself and your coworkers safe. If you see something that seems suspicious or unusual, always report it. You never know when a small detail could make the difference in avoiding a tragedy.
One of the best ways to use communication is to use walkie talkies or other communication devices. This way, you can always ask your superior questions, or request assistance from coworkers, no matter where you are in the mine.
Use Gas Detectors
Gas detection is vital in confined spaces because of the risk of poisoning and the lack of oxygen. As a confined space fills up with more gases, the percentage of oxygen in the area decreases, even if the amount hasn’t changed. There will be less oxygen available, and it will be much easier to unknowingly inhale toxic fumes.
Since most gases have no color, you won’t know when they’re present without a sensor. Some of them may have a smell, but you should never hope to smell natural gas while in a mine. Besides, if your respirator is working, you might not be able to smell them at all. Following these five most essential safety practices for miners and using all the appropriate safety gear will go a long way towards keeping you and your fellow miners safe. Mining is a dangerous job, but there are ways to make it less risky.