Mining is a dangerous industry. It’s often stated that safety is the top priority among global mining companies, however, serious injuries still occur on a regular basis. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a mining employee is more likely to sustain a fatal injury or illness than an employee in any other industry. The severity of mining injuries are also more likely to be life-threatening or life-altering.
What causes mining injuries?
Often, injuries occur due to the poisonous or explosive gases preset in the ground, the use of explosives, and poor equipment maintenance. Methane, a highly explosive gas trapped within coal layers, is a serious threat for coal miners. Improper use of equipment or explosives will trigger coal dust explosions, which has been the cause of thousands of mining injuries in the past.
Using explosives, even properly, can cause an unsafe environment, causing flooding or wall collapsing. Reported injuries are often caused by falling rocks, misfires, and premature blasts.
Equipment malfunction is another leading cause of injuries in the mining industry, often leading to explosions, fires, muscle injuries and injection wounds. Injection wounds occur when a small leak in an equipment hose forces hydraulic fluid into the skin at the psi level often equivalent to that of a bullet fired from a handgun. Leaving just a pinpoint sized hole, these injuries often go untreated for days, at which point the only possible treatment is amputation.
How can injuries be prevented?
Preventative maintenance has become an essential tool in many industries, and is now being implemented into mining. Fixing equipment as it breaks is no longer an acceptable practice. Being one step ahead of equipment failure is the only way to reduce injury rates.
Spectroline FluidSafe™ drastically improves the safety and reliability of fluid power systems. Being a fluorescent dye additive, it become easier to spot small leaks before they become a problem, saving companies on their cost of hydraulic fluid. If a hydraulic injury is thought to have occurred, it can be seen immediately with the use of a blue light lamp. This also makes is simple for surgeons to see the extent of the fluid injection injury, greatly reducing the amount of tissue removal.