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New Miner Training: What Are the Regulations Governing Mine Safety

The importance of mine safety simply cannot be downplayed.

Did you know that the typical miner in Bolivia's Potos tin mines will survive only 35 to 40 years, which is more than 25 years less than the life expectancy of the ordinary Bolivian?

Perhaps negative statistics like this can help with understanding the vital need for intensive new miner training.

If you are introducing a new miner to your team, they're going to need to toe the line of mine safety regulations. Here's a brief rundown of the current laws for mine compliance.

Regulations For Mine Safety

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), as revised by the MINER Act of 2006, is enforced by MSHA. The Mine Act grants the Secretary of Labor the ability to create, publish, and amend health or safety regulations for the nation's mines in order to safeguard lives and prevent injuries.

Compliance is governed by MSHA, they are the guys that monitor everything to do with mine safety rules and regulations.

Compliance begins with the regulations and laws published by MSHA and how well you train a new miner to understand and abide by them.

New Miner Potential Problems

When an accident occurs at a mine, there are a number of potential reasons. These could be any one of the following justifications:

  • weren't familiar with the rules
  • were aware of the rules but did not comprehend them
  • willfully disregarded the regulations
  • failed to recognize potentially dangerous circumstances
  • misapplied the regulations
  • Disregarded the law
  • took a chance
  • had inadequate training or a lack of educational preparation

There is one way to fight these issues and that's by ensuring that miners are sufficiently trained and compliant.

Mine Safety Rules

Being underground doesn't feel natural because it is a hostile environment for humans, making mining a risky enterprise. Due to the severe temperatures, air quality, and impacts in the mining sites, safety is a key focus.

1. Hazard Assessment

Identifying potential dangers is perhaps the most important step in reducing safety concerns. A smart place to start is by creating a plan. Such a strategy shows:

  • the primary mining hazard's characteristics, how they connect to other threats at the mine, and the analysis techniques utilized to find them
  • a documentation of the risk analysis performed in relation to the mining hazards
  • an explanation of all the precautions that must be taken to manage the health and safety risks brought on by the main mining hazards
  • a description of the mechanisms in place for giving employees the knowledge, education, and training they need regarding the primary mining danger

A plan like this provides insights that affect drilling and blasting operations. The sequence of events can be improved by carefully examining the stresses, properties, and likely consequences of the rock. These plans are non-negotiable when it comes to the safety of mine workers.

2. Wearing Protective Gear

This should be supplied by the employer. Training should've given to new miners so that they understand how every, single piece of equipment works to enhance safety.

The term "PPE" refers to the protective gear used by workers to protect themselves from potential dangers on the job. Examples of PPE in mining include gloves, steel-toed footwear, and eye protection, protective hearing devices (earplugs, muffs), hard hats, respirators, and full bodysuits.

Rockfall is a significant cause of accidents on the job, making hard hats a must for worker safety. Before accessing potentially dangerous areas, you must dress the part. Every mine should define the PPE that is required for the activity and be responsible for replacing defective clothing promptly.

3. Equipment Maintenance

It doesn't take long for neglected machinery to break down under a mine's extreme conditions. Inadequate operation increases the risk of losing command or exposing vulnerable areas. Maintain the equipment as directed in the handbook, keep it clean, and put it away correctly after each use.

To restore machinery to its original state, it is crucial to do routine checks, replace worn or broken parts, and keep moving parts well-lubricated. Regular maintenance can extend the useful life of mining machinery, reducing the risk to workers.

4. Adopting a Culture Focused On Safety

The foundation of any secure workplace must be this. A company's "safety culture" consists of its employees' general outlook on safety, as well as their shared values, beliefs, and behaviors with regard to preventing accidents.

In order to make sure that all safety procedures are up to par, it is important to have a robust safety culture. Further, establishing a proactive safety culture fosters a sense of dedication to safety and aids in inspiring workers to take responsibility for ensuring their workplace is safe.

Creating a favorable company culture of safety standards can make checklists and protocols seem like something workers must do rather than an inconvenience. The workplace can improve with the help of employee feedback on its strengths and weaknesses.

This is probably the single most important regulation that a mine should follow. Employee education and policies for promoting a culture of safety are fundamental to the ongoing maintenance of a secure mining environment.

Health And Safety In Mining

A new miner won't always be clued up on the rules and regulations that govern mine safety. It's totally up to the employer to educate each new addition to the team so that they are well aware of all laws and policies that need to be followed.

However, this type of training doesn't stop when a new miner has been successfully placed in the organization. Health and safety are an ongoing concern and even employees who have been working in the mine for years should be re-trained and have follow-up courses to ensure that the standard is kept up high.

If you're looking for compliance training that is up to MSHA standards, then you've come to the right place. We've got compliance training for surface and underground mining, contact us now to book your course.



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