Mining metals and gemstones such as diamonds can be risky for the health and safety of workers. No matter what you are mining, the process of making deep holes in the ground and working underground poses certain risks to worker health and safety.
Most mine accidents are caused by deep drilling and the usage of heavy machinery. However, these risks can be mitigated by following certain safety precautions. Every day, the mining industry gets safer. New equipment and mining techniques reduce the chances of accidents happening.
Mine operators and miners also become aware of due process. In general, these are some safety tips for the operation of underground diamond mines.
Ensure the usage of proper safety gear
In diamond mines, most of the hazard to miners arises from personal injury during the mining process. It is of utmost importance to wear the right clothes to protect oneself from harm. This includes steel toe industrial boots that will protect toes and metatarsals from falling debris or an accidental axe landing.
Heavy overalls to protect the body from flying debris is also needed. To prevent injury from falls, miners should wear hard hats at all times. Gloves designed for handling heavy tools will protect the hands from slipping while operating tools and from developing blisters.
If workers are going to be working at different heights, precautions need to be taken so that they wear safety harnesses and belts. Special suits should be available in case of emergencies.
Tools should be maintained regularly
Equipment being used in the mine needs to be routinely maintained to ensure that they are in full working condition. Even slight problems such as jams or loose bolts can cause serious accidents. On top of the regular safety checks, the miners need to take special precautions when drilling boreholes. Always ensure that the shoestring and shoe casings are operational to prevent boreholes from collapsing.
The tops of boreholes should be cordoned off or covered so that unwary workers do not fall through. Falling through heights of 100 feet or more can be fatal. If the mine is going to have multiple layers underground, proper scaffolding needs to be set up and checked regularly.
Communication tools such as radio transmitters and cell phones should also be serviced and kept functional at all times.
The mine should contain clear signage
All exits going out of the mine should be marked clearly. Exit pathways need to be illuminated, and extra batteries should be kept in store in case of power outages. All signs need to be printed in large fonts and clearly visible from a distance. Warnings should be displayed visually as well as in writing.
Workers should carry their identity cards at all times. This makes it possible to detect access, as well as makes it possible to keep track of workers in case of accidents requiring rescues.
There is a lot more to keep track of when operating a mine. But safety should never be deprioritized, as an accident can cost heavily in terms of life and expenses. Always make sure you follow these three key tips to keep your mines safe.