Mining is one of the most dangerous sectors that exist today at the labor level. Therefore, in this article, the main occupational hazards in mining and the main equipment required will be discussed.
The main occupational hazards in mining
The International Federation of the Mining Industry estimates that 12,000 workers die each year. Moreover, half of these accidents occur in China. This country is one of the most prominent in this area. In fact, this 2022 it bought another mine in Zimbabwe for 400 million dollars, which confirms its dominance. There are many types of occupational risks, and these can be classified as follows:
Traumatic injuries represent the main risk to be taken into account. The most prominent causes are falls, fires, floods or explosions. Generally speaking, the equipment used in mining is very noisy, so going deaf is another risk.
Vibration, together with heat and humidity, cause other risks that should not go unnoticed. These include dehydration and heat stroke.
Mines work with many materials that contain numerous chemical hazards. Crystalline silica has been one of the predominant ones for a long time due to the danger of silicosis that exists. Exposure to this element can cause a medical condition that starts with a cough, but can lead to pulmonary fibrosis. Also worth mentioning are coal dust, asbestos, or different types of gases or diesel particles.
Workers with silicosis must also pay attention to tubercle bacillus. Having an immunosuppressed body increases the risk of tuberculosis. Cooling towers that are frequently found in the mine cause the need to pay attention to legionella.
With technological advances, all processes are increasingly automated. However, there are still tasks that are completely manual. These sometimes involve movements that can be traumatic and cause injuries to different parts of the body.
Wearing the right protection in mines
Due to the wide variety of hazards, it is important to equip yourself with the right protection. Coveralls that protect against heat and fire are essential. In addition, a helmet should be included to protect against possible cave-ins, as well as suitable footwear that allows you to move around inside the mine without any problems.
Specialized face masks are another essential PPE accessory. There are many chemical and biological products that should not be inhaled. Finally, protection against cuts and mechanical action is also necessary. In conclusion, the wide variety of occupational hazards in mining requires investing in the right equipment.