Mining is one of the largest and most dangerous industries. The mining industry has the most amount of injuries and deaths than any other, here we take a look as to why mining is such a dangerous profession.
Mine workers typically work extremely long hours in dark loud environments. The profession is also physically demanding. This type of workplace and profession causes stress problems, fatigue and mental health issues, these problems lead to more work related injuries.
Vibrations are caused by mining machinery, mostly drilling. The vibration does not only affect miners and workers, but also the surrounding environment. Intense vibrations can destroy local plant life and disturb animals. When this large machinery is used, miners experience whole body vibration, this can cause fatigue, headaches and loss of balance.
Mines are extremely noisy environments, this is due to the large amount of machinery, vehicles and drilling. Noise is also caused by the fans and ventilation used in underground mines. All this combined noise causes reduced concentration in workers and can lead to hearing loss. A large number of miners that have been in the profession for more than 10 years experience hearing damage.
6. Lifting Injuries
Incorrect lifting is the second most common cause of injury in the mining industry. Mining is an industry that has a lot of advanced technology but despite this, the profession is still very hands on and workers are required to lift heavy loads of materials. This causes many miners to get back and muscles injuries which prevent them from doing their job
5. Coal dust
Coal dust can cause a variety of dangers for workers and the environment. When miners and workers are exposed to coal dust, it can cause pulmonary diseases most commonly pneumonia. The dust can also increase the chances of explosions and fires within caves/mines. The environment is also greatly affected by coal dust, when the dust reaches the ocean it can impact the growth and oxygen for sea animals
Underground mines are capable of reaching up to 50 degrees depending on the location and depth. Mines are humid due to the increase of air pressure and the virgin rock temperature which increases with depth, meaning deeper mines have the highest temperature. This extreme heat and humidity can cause heat stroke and exhaustion as well as increasing the risk of injuries.
3. Toxic Air
Toxic gas and air are common causes of deaths and explosions in the mining industry. The most common toxic gases produced are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen oxide, these gases are all flammable or can cause suffocation. When carbon monoxide detectors aren’t used or working properly, the gas can be fatal within an hour.
Explosions don't occur regularly within the mining industry but when they do happen, they cause the highest fatalities. These are usually caused due to the methane gas produced within the mines, when this gas isn't extracted it can combine with the oxygen which is then able to cause an explosion.
Cave-ins occur during excavation, mining and tunneling, this is where these structures collapse. Caves and mines already have a limited amount of oxygen so when a collapse happens, oxygen levels are further reduced which can lead to the intake of toxic fumes. Cave-ins can also cause workers to be crushed or tapped within the mines, a large proportion of collapses are fatal.
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