Health and safety should be a top priority in any workplace. People deserve to feel comfortable and confident in their working environment and it is critical for management to help ensure that is the case.
In an industry like mining, where there are significantly more hazards to be concerned with, safety training is crucial. Mining is a demanding and, at times, dangerous job. That is so it is imperative for mining companies to take their workplace safety very seriously.
Below, you’ll find a list of seven mining safety training tips and tactics. These best practices can help identify frequent risks that arise in a mining environment and the steps to take to address them.
1. Provide respiratory protection for mining
Respiratory protection is crucial to mining safety. It is important that when working in and near mines, all employees are made aware of the importance of taking care of their lungs and are giving the appropriate equipment with which to do so.
The legacy of coal miners suffering from “black lung” in no joke and is what happens when a worker is continually breaking dust and debris into their body. It is therefore necessary that everyone working in a mine uses proper respiratory protection while they’re on duty.
Depending on the type of mine and the nature of the work being done, a simple face mask may suffice, while in other circumstances advanced protection might be needed. It is the responsibility of the mining company to evaluate the specific needs in each situation and provide the proper protection.
2. Facilitate mining hazard communication
In the event that a hazard does arise, it is crucial to let everyone know as soon as possible. If workers are unaware of a potential danger, they are not able to avoid it. Companies are well advised to focus on improving mining safety training communication. This ensures that all workers are on the same page regarding policies and procedures.
In terms of visual communication, it is necessary that everyone receives adequate training to identify all hazard signs and safety labels. It should be easy and straightforward to notify those around you of danger and to constantly ensuring all conditions are in compliance with federal and local regulations.
3. Make mining safety a central concern
The nature of mine work is that the environment is constantly changing. Tunnels will change and the requirements for structural integrity will need to be adjusted. One of the best ways to keep miners safe is to make sure everyone is aware of any changes being made, major or minor.
Mining safety training should also include quick and efficient ways to communicate in order to maximize the mining health and safety related to the physical layout of the mines where people are working.
4. Explosive training is critical
Many mining operations require the use of explosives. Although initially treated with trepidation, as explosive use becomes more common it is inevitable that certain workers will be tempted to take safety shortcuts because they think they have the experience and knowledge to perform these actions. Unfortunately, this is never ok and puts everyone at risk.
Mining companies are therefore obliged to have meticulous safety training in place when it comes to how explosives are handled, stored and used. There should never be any situation where people decide to go around the safety regulations because even a small mistake can lead to serious injuries, cave-ins or even fatalities.
5. Plan for fall protection
Due to the fact that a lot of mining takes place underground, people often overlook the potential danger of falling. This is a mistake, falls take place in everyone work environment, especially one as physically demanding as mining.
Danger for falls in a mine include falling down a mining shaft, or even just slipping down a steep side of a hill. All workers should receive training regarding what to do in case of a fall.
6. Teach electrical and fire safety
The vast majority of mining operations will use many pieces of electrical equipment on a regular basis. It is important that workers get proper mining safety training when it comes to using these devices and what to do it something goes wrong. There should be policies in place about how to use extension and electrical cords and general electrical safety precautions.
Fire is one potential outcome of an electrical accident and due to the fact that the environment may not be able to have a traditional fire suppression system installed, it even more important to take fire safety seriously. Training workers to watch out for fire hazards at all times is a key component of the overall mining health and safety program.
7. Prevent cave-ins or mine collapses
The concern or cave-in or collapse is always present in a mining environment. Your mining safety training should educate everyone about the importance of keeping debris and rocks stable. Companies should provide their workers with equipment such as mining cap lamps to maximize the safety of everyone.
You should also make sure the ground around the mine is properly supported, especially when driving heavy equipment over areas where there are tunnels deep below.