5 Emerging Issues in Mining Health and Safety


The mining practice has really changed over the past couple of years. In the 19th century men used to use shovels to tote canaries to ensure the air underneath wasn’t toxic. Today, we do have advanced underground mining technology that has greatly reduced the number of people required to go underground. All mines have common crucial components. They’ll always have a ventilation shaft to clear toxic fumes that form during drilling, escape routes, recovery shafts, ore-transport tunnels, etc. Mining is one activity that has exists for years, but since the environment is quickly changing, we’ve had to grapple with a few issues.

Some of these emerging issues include:

1. The need to prevent Respiratory diseases

Mining environments in future will be full of nano-particles which are more harmful to human beings compared to ordinary large-sized particles. These tiny elements are very toxic and they can easily compromise the respiratory health of any worker. To protect everyone who works underground, we have to figure out ways of measuring the amount of nano-particles in the air and how best to reduce exposure. Mining firms should think about employing more workers to reduce the number of extended shifts and extra hours covered by the employees.

2. The need to prevent Noise-induced hearing loss

There will be an increase in ore demand and this will compel mining firms to increase production. Eventually, due to wear and tear these companies will end up spending more money on heavy-duty machinery, and we all know how noisy these equipment are. As mining workers drill deeper for minerals, the noise levels will gradually increase because they’ll have to go through hard rocks.

Mining workers have always complained about how uncomfortably warm deep mines are and how this makes wearing hearing protection devices difficult. It’s upon us to come up with new designs that can withstand higher noise levels in warmer mines, and protect workers who work long shifts or deeper mines.

3. The need to reduce Mining Disasters and increase control

Human life is indispensable. Unfortunately, miners will be more exposed to risks as mining environments become increasingly complex. We need to have a systemic framework in place that will help reduce the probability of disastrous events from occurring and increase chances of survival. Different mining firms should also be able to monitor the conditions of all complex mining environments remotely. Soon we’ll understand why it’s important to review the rescue team deployment strategies and improving the survival equipment.

4. Musculoskeletal injury prevention

Miners should be psychologically ready to deal with harsh mining conditions in future. They’ll have to go deep in the mines, deal with thinner seams, and work under severe environmental conditions.  Working conditions will inevitably change, and that’s why it’s necessary to come up with a program that provides interventions meant to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

5. Preventing traumatic injuries

The traumatic injury hazards can be attributed to the changing mining conditions such as increased electrical voltage use, size of underground mining technology, and handling of mine wastes. The mining methods have to be improved in order to shield miners from hazardous areas, and hopefully, save more lives by reducing traumatic injuries.





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