The mining industry has the potential to be one of the most dangerous in the world. Fortunately, over the past century there have been some truly amazing advancements that have helped to keep miners safer on a day to day basis. Just because things are safer today than ever before, however, does not mean that you can lose focus on safety.
If you are looking for ways to make your mining operation safer, you are in luck. There are a lot of great mining safety tips that can have immediate and long lasting results. Some of these tips are simply learning the best ways to do certain things. Others revolve around using the right mining safety products. Take some time to read through the following ideas and see which ones will work best in your mining operation.
Frequent Use of Directional Signs
Visual communication is important in just about any industry, but when mining it is essential. There is a very real risk of people getting lost in mines after a cave in or other problem. Even if there is no major disaster, people can become disoriented if they are hit in the head with falling rock or mining tools.
When this happens people can often still see the safety signs that are placed throughout the mine. Something like this sign, which says, “Exit This Way” can help people find their way to where they need to go to get help.
There are, of course, many types of signs that you can put up in and around a mining operation. In addition to being critical for helping those who are lost or disoriented, these signs can also make it easier for guests or new miners to get used to the layout of the area.
Proper Use of Other Safety Signs
When thinking about signs in mines it is important to also include specific safety sign options. There are many situations that are unique to mining, or at least found much more frequently in this industry. For example, you could put a ‘DANGER: ELEVATOR SHAFT’ sign up near all elevator shafts to help ensure people don’t fall down into them.
Warning people of low overhead clearances using safety signs is also a great option for many mining areas. Even something as simple as letting people know that specific rooms in or around the mine are restricted to authorized people only can help keep everyone safe. To put it simply, safety signs are an essential form of visual communication that can help keep your mining operation safer and running more smoothly than ever.
Ensure Adequate Lighting
One of the biggest hazards in mining is the fact that there is no way to get natural light down into the mine. This means that everyone within the mine will be completely reliant on the generation of artificial light. In most cases this will simply mean that the electrical lights need to remain functional to ensure people can see where they are going.
Almost all mining operations will have some type of generator in place to keep the electricity going even when there is a commercial power outage. There are times, however, when even the generator fails or is damaged. To help keep people in the mines safe, you need to have light sources that don’t rely on anything from outside of the mine.
The most common option is going to be battery powered emergency lighting. These devices run on normal electricity most of the time, but in the event that the power goes out, they can run on batteries for hours. Another option is to use glow-in-the-dark products. These products can ‘charge up’ from the light when the power is on, and when it goes off they will light up.
Mining Safety: Stay MSHA-compliant. We can help.
Minimize hazards and reduce the potential for injuries in mines by posting appropriate safety signs. This guide explains Mining & MSHA, and identifies which signs you need to stay safe and compliant. Ranging from topics like common mining signage to important features to consider when purchasing signs, this guide is crucial to understanding mining safety.
There are many great glow-in-the-dark options including emergency exit signs and floor tape that glows. Using these products will not only give miners a source of light during the first critical hours after power is cut, but can also help lead them to safety.
Using Proper Safety Gear
While this tip shouldn’t even have to be mentioned, it is actually extremely important. Virtually all mining operations have safety gear available for the miners, but many miners fail to use it or fail to use it properly. Taking steps to remind the miners of exactly what safety gear they need to be wearing before entering a mine is critical. In addition, make sure they know that it is mandatory to use all the safety gear provided.
Giving people a visual idea of exactly what is required of them is one of the best, easiest and most effective ways to ensure they are always wearing their safety items. This image above will quickly let all miners know that they need to be wearing a hard hat, safety gloves, safety glasses, reflective clothing and steel-toed boots.
You can also use specific signs or labels for each type of safety gear that is needed. For example, at the entrance of an area where a hard hat is required, you could print off a large label and put this on the door or wall:
In addition to being a simple reminder for the miners themselves, using this type of visual communications can help supervisors to watch out for anyone who is not properly using their safety gear. It will make it much simpler to ensure everyone is working together to ensure your mining operation is as safe as possible.
Using Mining Tips & Products
These are just a few of the many different safety tips and products that are available to those who work on and manage mining operations today. Taking the time to learn about the different products out there that can help you to improve the overall safety of your mining facility is a very smart idea.
With a little research and work up front you can take significant steps toward keeping all the miners working for you safe, and ensuring that your mining operation will operate smoothly for years to come.