Dangers in the mining workplace

Mining is renowned to be one of the more dangerous occupations and there have been many serious accidents worldwide over the years in mining. The dangers that occur in mining include accidents which have resulted in significant loss of life over the years, as well as health hazards that miners face on a day to day basis.

There have however been significant strides in recent years to improve the working conditions for miners, and to create a safer, healthier work environment. With the introduction of strict safety legislation and protocol, as well as advances in safety equipment, the industry has seen a significant fall off in fatalities in recent years. However even with the efforts that have been put in place to create a safer healthier work environment for miners, there are still significant dangers associated with working on a mine.

The reality is that miners are still dying from explosions, cave ins and equipment accidents, and they are also still being exposed to fatal and chronic conditions that are linked to their toxic work environment.

There are still many accidents that can and do occur on mine sites worldwide. One of them being cave-ins. This is tragically one of the most common underground mining accidents that happen. Flooding is also a big danger, and can occur due to uncontrolled surface runoffs such as flash flooding caused by heavy rain. These floods can also damage the pit walls in underground mines which can cause a collapse which can be extremely dangerous and in many cases cause fatalities.

Another danger that miners face every time they venture underground is that of gas explosions. Companies spend a lot of time, money and effort ensuring that there is adequate ventilation but a methane gas buildup can and does lead to explosions. Chemicals used in mines are often the cause of long term health issues for miners as inhaling dangerous chemicals along with dust can cause terrible long term health issues. Miners also work with heavy electrical equipment which puts them at a risk of electrocution, often caused by working with electricity in a damp environment.

There are also a number of known health risks that miners are exposed to during their careers. Miners in underground mines are at a risk of developing occupational disease or respiratory related issues caused by ventilation hazards and exposure to harmful substances.

Radon is an odorless radioactive gas that can lead to lung cancer from long term exposure. Dust is also a major danger that miners face on a day to day basis. Blasting and drilling creates very fine dust particles in the air which can accumulate in and damage the miner's lungs. This buildup can lead to pneumoconiosis, Silicosis…

Because of the incessant drilling and usage of heavy machinery, mines are notoriously noisy places; the constant exposure that miners have to the mining equipment can damage their hearing, and even rupture eardrums. Unfortunately many miners do not notice the damage to their hearing until it's often too late. There are other dangers lurking on mine sites, including injury or death caused by falls, and accidents.

There are numerous measures that have been put in place to try to ensure the safety and health of miners including introducing sophisticated ventilation systems, respirators and ear protectors which have dramatically improved the work environment for many miners worldwide, however the reality is that mines are still dangerous and accidents do still occur.