A good business owner understands the importance of investing in workplace safety. In the mining industry, workers have to face hazards daily, which makes mining an inherently risky occupation. Although significant progress has been made in accident prevention, there’s always room for improvement. New technologies allow us to prevent serious injuries and health issues, but accidents still happen from time to time, and your job is to invest in further accident reductions.
Creating a safe zone and achieving an accident-free workplace is almost impossible, but all your efforts count. Once you become aware of all the dangers that lurk in the dark and address the most common health hazards for mineworkers, you will be able to establish adequate solutions that will minimize the risks and keep your workers as safe as possible.
Common breathing hazards
The inhalations of coal particles are one of the biggest signs of concern in the mining industry. Coal dust can cause various problems in the human body, which makes it one of the most dangerous health hazards. Once the workers start breathing the polluted air, they may be prone to developing various diseases that affect the respiratory system, including the ‘miner’s lung’. The symptoms of this disease include shortness of breath, cough and chest tightness. Coal dust is explosive, which is another reason why you need to act fast.
One of the best ways to prevent miners from inhaling the toxic substance is to install a high-quality ventilation system that will reduce the contaminants and keep the environment safe for all workers. Air filtration masks are also necessary, and everyone should be wearing them. It’s also vital to monitor the health of your workers and provide regular checkups free of charge.
Whole-body vibration hazard is a slow killer because it takes a while for the workers to notice the negative effects. People who operate large machinery and equipment are prone to this hazard, and unfortunately, if you don’t reduce exposure, most of your workers will suffer the consequences. It’s impossible to avoid vibration in the mining industries, and although some forms of vibrational motions are not a cause of concern, they can become dangerous as soon as they involve bumpy surfaces. If your workers spend a lot of time operating and sitting on machinery, they may develop musculoskeletal disorders, vision impairment or cardiovascular diseases.
Create a new system and don’t allow your workers to work on the same task for too long. Allow them to change surroundings and take a rest because these are the best ways to minimize the consequences of the whole-body vibration hazards.
Changing mining conditions and neglecting possible malfunctions can result in traumatic injuries. Working with mining equipment is not easy, especially if the machinery is outdated. New ventilation systems, loaders and diggers can prevent accidents in the future and improve the overall health of your workers. No matter how careful the workers may be, no one can predict sudden malfunctions that may harm or seriously damage the health of some individuals. It’s advisable to remove your miners from hazardous working environments until you can afford better equipment. Good-quality drills and durable conveyor parts will improve safety in the workplace, and you won’t have to worry about sudden destructive malfunctions and failures.
The effects of chemical hazards
All mineworkers also have to learn how to protect themselves from toxic chemicals. The mining industry will never give them a break, especially because this is not the only hazard in this incredibly dangerous working environment.
Polymeric chemicals can cause burns and poisoning, which is why it’s vital to invest in safety gear and provide adequate training that will teach all your workers how to handle different chemicals properly. There should be at least a few health professionals in or near the mine site in case the injured individuals require urgent assistance.
The mining industry may be dangerous, but it is also lucrative. In the next few decades, young engineers will have the opportunity to take advantage of the newest technologies that will allow them to work in a safer and more prosperous working environment.
Although the accidents in the mining industry are not as common as they used to be, it’s still vital to take good care of your workers and ensure they’re all safe at the end of the day.