Mines vary in size and shape, but all of them apply similar safety precautions to prevent accidents. In order to ensure that mining safety is observed, most governments designate a specific agency to establish mining safety standards.
In addition to standing government policies, the government and mining organizations send representatives to inspect the mines to see to it that the companies are in compliance with established mining safety standards and to make sure that the mine workers are working safely. Here are some of the most important aspects of safety in mines:
1. Adequate Ventilation and Oxygen Supply
Adequate ventilation is important in mines because of the lack of air supply underground. Miners occasionally uncover toxic substances when they dig for minerals, and this calls for proper ventilation to prevent the miners from inhaling toxic fumes which can be hazardous.
Mine safety inspectors check ventilations on a regular basis to check the air quality and to detect toxic gases. Additionally, underground workers are made to wear face protection that includes a respirator. This will help to protect their respiratory system from getting damaged due to toxic gases.
2. Reinforcing Mined Areas
Miners make sure that the pits are safe from cave-ins and the ground is stable. They do it by reinforcing newly mined areas with mine support.
3. Wearing Heavy Clothing and Boots
Heavy clothing and boots work to protect miners from sharp underground objects. In the course of the operation, sharp rocks or other materials may project from the ground or mine walls. These can be hazardous. This is one of the reasons why miners wear protective clothing and footwear to avoid injury in case they happen to bump these objects by accident.
4. Labeling Potential Safety Hazards
There are lots of potential hazards to safety underground. These include sharp and projecting objects, holes and shafts, and electric wires. All these and other potential safety threats are properly labeled to caution the miners so that they can avoid these. Proper lighting is also imperative underground to make everything visible so that accidents can be prevented.
5. Awareness of Position.
The position or location of workers in a mine plays a big role in safety and accident avoidance and prevention. Miners who are working inside should make each other aware of their respective locations or positions. A miner who works above someone else should make everyone below him aware of his presence. This will make people working below conscious of the possibility of falling rocks. Likewise, people who work in lower sections of the mine should also inform others of their position, especially those who work above them. At the end of the day, when a miner fails to show up, teams of searchers are assigned to locate him until he is found.
6. Other Safety Precautions
Miners are not allowed to work alone especially in hazardous areas. Most of them are issued with radios to facilitate ease of communication. Alcohol and drugs are absolutely prohibited underground and miners are not allowed to work if they are under the influence of intoxicating or mind-altering substances.
In order to promote safety, every miner is authorized to report safety violations. All miners are made familiar with the mine evacuation plan on their very first day of work.
These are some of the most important safety precautions miners take when working underground. As we all know, mining is a hazardous business and it exposes its workers and entire communities to danger. People who are working in mines should have proper safety awareness and training. These are very important things that they can use to avoid accidents and to protect their life and the lives of other people.
Information shared by MiningIQ.