Underground mining is typically done to extract hard to get to metals, gems, or minerals. These materials are essential to our everyday life, since they can be found in a staggering number of commonly used products.
However, the process of getting these materials is labour intensive and dangerous. Workers are constantly exposed to intense elements, dangerous chemicals, and bodily harm. That’s why it is essential to have proper safety measures implemented, and practiced. Every worker on site should come equipped with the appropriate underground mining technology and equipment, or risk affecting their health and safety.
1. Face and Eye Protection
Equipment to safe-guard a worker’s eyes, and face, is essential to their safety. Miners can be exposed to countless damaging particles, chemicals, metals, acids and liquids on a daily basis. Coming in contact with one of these harmful chemicals, can cause serious harm. If a damaging agent gets in contact with a worker’s skin or eyes, it can cause burns, rashes, infections or vision impairment.
That’s why, safety glasses should be worn by all workers, at all times. These goggles should be scratch, and fog-resistant for optimum performance in such intense conditions. As well, these glasses should be durable, comfortable, and capable of being disinfected. To provide the most protection to your workers, a full-face helmet is encouraged, especially when exposed to highly corrosive, or toxic materials.
2. Ear Protection
Miners will inevitably be exposed to high noise levels while working. But, constant exposure to high noise can have irreversible consequences. Frequent exposure can result in hearing loss or impairment, especially for long-term site workers.
The more immediate effects that this can have on workers, is equally as dangerous. Constant subjection to high noise levels can increase a worker’s stress level while on site. This is particularly dangerous in a mining environment, where a small error in the mine can have deadly consequences. That’s why, earplugs, and coverings are essential to all workers.
3. Head Protection
Protective hats should be worn by everyone entering the site, regardless of their position. These are necessary to prevent the impact of falling, or flying objects, high-voltage shock, and burns. It is important to understand that all hats, and caps are designed differently. Therefore, exposure to different hazards, may require workers to change to different head gear. The most common head gear, a miner should wear, is one that has been designed specifically for impact hazards, which is the most common threat to a miner’s health.
There is a large variety of items that workers can choose to wear that will help protect them. Proper clothing, can keep metals, or liquids that have splashed, from hitting the skin and causing harm. Ultimately working as an added layer of protection for their skin.
Clothing items such as vests, jackets, aprons, coveralls, body suits, and leggings should be considered to be worn by all workers. Every item should be made of fire retardant wool, or specially treated cotton. This will make sure the worker is comfortable in all temperatures, and safe. Finally, high visibility items, or items with reflective strips are encouraged. Having one of your workers harmed because someone did not see them, is an issue that’s easily avoided, with proper clothing.
No miner should be let onto site, unless they have proper foot protection. All workers, should have shoes that are sturdy, with an impact-resistant toe. Protective shoes will prevent harm from falling, or sharp objects, molten metals, hot surfaces, and slips or falls.