There is no doubt that the mining industry is hazardous. Regardless of their size, all mining companies embrace effective measures to ensure workplace safety and prevent accidents. Behind the expansion of underground mining, safety plays an important role. Special emphasis should be given on this irrespective of the number of personnel the firm comprises of.
Mining companies from around the world invest millions of dollars on training and safety equipment. Even with all of these preventive methods, accidents occur. The aftermath can be very serious as consequences include loss of life and property. Strict measures should be taken to avoid such incidents and reinforce mining safety.
The best way to do this is by investing on safety equipment on par with technological advancement, and providing regular and updated safety training.
Investing on Safety Equipment
The mineworkers should be provided proper safety equipment. They must wear protective clothes, as they need constant protection from hazardous substances such as falling objects. They also need protection from sound and dust. Companies must provide at least hard hats and breathing apparatus to workers. They are expected to wear overalls as it prevents scrapes. It can also protect skin damage caused by harmful substances and dirt.
Prolonged exposure to certain gases can cause health problems. This is why mining companies should have fixed time for each of the workers. Sensors can be placed to indicate level of gas in confined area. There should also be visible labels such as explosive or flammable.
The sites often use explosives to mine into harder rocks. Explosives should be stored in safe containers and kept in secure locations. Only trained professionals who know how to use them must handle them.
Specific health and safety practices should be followed. Preventive measures should be taken to avoid fire. Use of electronic devices such as mobile phones should be banned as they may spark if dropped. Smoking should also be prohibited on site.
Provide Safety Training
In addition to equipment, employees should be trained properly. Workers must receive apt training but all contactors and visitors who attend the mine site have to undergo training. They must be prepared for all kind of hazard.
Trainers define a miner as someone who is involved in extraction and production of various minerals. It also refers to anyone who is exposed to the hazards of mining on a regular basis. Therefore, this includes ordinary workers, supervisors, contractors and the maintenance workers. All of them are exposed to the dangers of mining operations regularly and need to undergo safety training.
In some developed countries, individuals cannot work at mines without mandatory yearly safety trainings. This ensures that people understand their responsibilities and helps keep them accident-free and safe.
Updating with Technological Advancement
The companies should constantly discover new techniques and invest on efficient equipment. This reduces accidents and augments production. Most mining-related accidents are related to the lack of modern safety equipment and operation.
Use of modern technology can reduce possibility of accidents. This includes use of the following:
- Personal protective gear
- Efficient communication devices
- Specialized lighting equipment
- Explosives with programmable detonators
- Specialized equipment
Use of specialized equipment is highly encouraged as they can replace humans in extremely dangerous work zones.
Freedom of Expression to Press, Trade Unions and NGOs
Safety standards will not improve much if the press and other authorities do not have freedom to disclose mining accidents. The possibility that they can conceal incidents from the public makes companies less concerned about safety and health standards. Allowing this freedom of expression is good for the overall industry.