Mining is an adventurous place to work with. If a miner is vigilant then they can prevent danger. Surrounded by many dangers at every step you take. But it is mostly known for the health hazards that miners have while working. Mostly, these risks can become very serious. Hence, miners must follow safety measures. So, if at all you decide to step into a mine you must wear personal protection equipment (PPE).
The government and other authorities related to the mining industry have tightened the rules and regulations regarding the safety of workers in mines. Also, there is improvement in safety equipment. Therefore, there is a reduction in serious health problems in miners. But still, mining companies are not able to nullify the danger. The coal mining companies are trying their best to protect their employees. But the companies cannot do everything. Miners must understand and be aware of their surroundings to prevent illness and accidents. Here are a few common health problems that coal miners face.
Inhaling coal or coal dust is one of the most common concerns in miners. If a person inhales coal dust for a long period, it can affect his lungs. This condition of lungs is called miners’ lungs or black lungs. It is a lung disease from the group of pneumoconiosis. Also, the severity of black lungs depends on various conditions. But its symptoms include shortness in breathing and scarring on lung tissue. If it prolongs, the patient may develop other respiratory diseases.
Over the years, authorities took many preventive measures to stop black lungs to affect mines. But still, a few cases of miners’ lungs pop up in coal mines. The preventive measure can be appointing a team to keep a check on coal dust. They will do the check before every shift to make sure that employees do not inhale it. Mining companies can carry out training sessions for miners to explain the effect of coal dust on their health. They must also give miners timely medical checkups to make sure that they are safe. Also, they should replace, maintain, and check equipment repeatedly.
Noise is a part and parcel of a miner’s life. With constant drilling and heavy machinery, there is no doubt that miners may face some hearing issues. When a person is OK with noise when they are continuously in a noisy place. But that does not mean the body is also OK with it. The body is still affected by heavy noises.
Many workers are not able to notice possible damage to their hearing. This is because the damage occurs slowly. If a person will hear a constant ringing in their ears on overexposure to noise. The other problems they will face are sleep deprivation, loss of concentration, and, ultimately, permanent hearing loss. To prevent hearing loss in employees, mining companies must do a risk assessment. Also, companies can make changes to machinery to reduce noise. Not only that, mining companies can add absorption panels to the noise path. As well, the machines must be kept in good condition. Employees must wear ear protection and they must also get the training to maintain their health.
Whole Body Vibration
Whole Body Vibration (WBV) affects people at a slow pace. It usually affects people like miners who work closely with heavy machinery. In particular, it happens to people who sit on mining extractors or work with jumbo operators. Some machine vibrations are fine for workers’ bodies. But if it continues for a long time or if you are working on uneven surfaces, vibrations can be harmful. This usually happens when ripping or pushing by a bulldozer. The symptoms of Whole Body Vibration can be musculoskeletal disorders, reproductive damage in women, problems with vision, digestive problems, and cardiovascular changes.
Musculoskeletal disorders mean problems concerning bones, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. To reduce the incidence of these health problems, mining companies must take some preventive measures. For example, filling the potholes, reducing the transportation of goods, and changing the workers’ shifts from time to time. Mining companies can also change to unmanned machines.
Many mineworkers come into contact with chemicals in mines. The most common chemical groups that miners come into contact with are polymeric chemicals. Though the type of chemicals does not matter, workers must take proper safety precautions. If not, miners may suffer from chemical burns, respiratory problems, and poisoning. Every chemical has a different set of dangers. But, coal morning companies must take proper precautions for the employees. Hence, they should conduct a risk assessment before starting the work. The supervisor must explain a standard procedure to all the miners. So, that the chemical is properly handled. They should provide good ventilation to reduce exposure to chemicals. Also, mining companies must conduct training and drills to make miners aware of what to do in chemical spills.
Steps to prevent hurdles while working in coal mines
Coal mines are dangerous as there are many mining accidents and health hazards. You must take precautions to protect yourself and the people working with you. Wearing PPE is mandatory before setting foot on mining grounds. It should also include a helmet, ear protection, and marks. Not only workers, but mining companies must also make some changes to protect their employees. They can do that by doing a proper assessment before every shift. Which will reduce the danger of coal dust and chemical hazards. Proper maintenance of machinery will reduce noise as well as vibration. Mining companies must also take training sessions and drills so that workers are aware of procedures in a situation. This will help workers prevent any risk to their health.