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What Safeguards Are in Place for Mine Accidents?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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By its very nature, mining is one of the more dangerous occupations that exposes workers to safety challenges as a consequence of the procedures necessary to perform job duties, such as construction. Even though it is not possible to completely eliminate all incidences of accidents and injuries, it is possible to limit mine accidents through the application of proper safeguards to help better protect the workers through improvements in their working environment and better equipment. Other mine accident safeguards include machinery with proper safety controls and applications as well as the application of company and governmental regulations and ergonomic principles.

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When talking about mine accidents, it is pertinent to note that the mining process is one that requires different kinds of activities both above ground and below ground, depending on the particular type of mining activity and the aim of the mining operation. As such, the different types of mining activities present their own peculiar sets of challenges that must be tackled accordingly. For instance, a mining operation that is largely conducted from above ground requires specific safety measures ranging from governmental agency regulated rules stating the types of vehicles to use, the capacity, the procedures for backing up, and the use of different types of visible signs, to other efforts aimed at preventing mine accidents. In addition to the legally mandated laws, the company could also have its own specific regulations that the miners and auxiliary workers must observe in order to keep mine accidents to the bare minimum.

Usually, this type of law is aimed toward conducting the orientation of workers where they are trained on the necessary safety measures, including the meaning and proper use of safety equipment and how to react in case of an emergency. Considering the fact that a good portion of mining operations occur underground, such procedures are also heavily regulated to reduce the occurrence of mine accidents. For example, there are laws regarding using explosives underground, which is a necessary precaution to prevent or greatly reduce underground mine explosions that may lead to unwanted situations like cave-ins and injury of workers due to improper use. Other safety measures target the shoring up of the tunnels in the proper manner to defend cave-ins and to allow for safe passage of both human and machine traffic. The proper use of safety equipment, such as those geared toward the protection of the eyes, lungs and ears, is also vital.

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