The oil, gas, quarry, and mining industries cover a wide range of occupations that are primarily engaged in extracting naturally occurring minerals. Occupations include the miners who perform the physical extraction of raw materials, heavy equipment operators, and administrative workers.
The industry does not make up a large part of the U.S. employment sector. In 2018, there were around 672,000 people employed by the U.S. mining industry. Regardless of its small labor force, the U.S. Geological Survey reported mining added $82.2 billion dollars to the U.S. economy in 2018. The primary issues with labor in the mining industry are the shortage of skilled workers, significant overtime, and the aging population of the workforce.
Compared to other industries, the mining industry does not have a significant amount of injuries or fatalities per year. However, when accidents do occur, they tend to involve many fatalities or casualties. Even though the total number of mine worker fatalities in the U.S. has declined in the past two decades, a large proportion of accidents involving mining machinery and mobile equipment are significant.
Safe working environments play an important role in creating a successful business. Knowing the industry risks, having a safety plan, and the right equipment will help lessen the chances of accidents.
Mining Industry Safety Risks
Oil and gas well drilling and servicing activities involve the use of different types of equipment and materials. Although accidents do not occur nearly as often as they do in other industries there are significant health and safety risks miners face every day.
Here are some common hazards found in the mining industry:
- Explosions—Potential explosions pose a serious threat to safety.
- Cave-ins, collapses, or rock falls—Mines can collapse and cause rocks and debris to become unstable that can strike workers or trap them underground.
- Fires—When fires outbreak in mines or on oil rigs, traditional fire suppression systems are not always suitable or effective.
- Electrical hazards—Miners use different pieces of electrical equipment on a regular basis that can pose a risk of fire or shock.
- Exposure to dust—Breathing in dust and debris while working and consequences can be serious.
- Vehicle hazards—Large industrial vehicles do not offer the best visibility for operators and can put all the workers in the area at risk.
- Noise—Loud equipment used in the confined spaces of a mine can cause permanent hearing loss.
Protect Your Workers with the Right EquipmentFind Your Safety Can Products
In order to prevent serious injuries and fatalities, it is important to recognize and minimize hazards. Although it’s impossible to prevent all foreseeable hazards in the mining business, there is plenty that can be done to minimize many of them. Developing a safety plan will lay the groundwork for workplace safety and save the business money on insurance costs and loss of labor.
The plan should include:
- Risk Assessment—Evaluate the likelihood of a risk occurring due to a particular hazard.
- Identification of hazards—When there are unavoidable risks, provide your team with clear instructions and educate them on how to mitigate it.
- Training plans—Ensure all team members undergo regular safety training.
- Access to safety equipment—Supply and ensure all employees know how to use safety equipment and wear proper PPE or safety clothing, hearing protection, and respiratory protection.
- How to document your safety procedures—When accidents happen, all team members know exactly what they need to do.
- Keep updated on safety standards— Ensure all safety equipment is serviced regularly and satisfies all the latest safety standards.
A safety management plan will help minimize hazards and reduce the potential for injuries in mines. Having the right safety equipment will also keep employees safe, happy, and reduce business loss due to injury.
More Industry Safety Solutions
Top Products For The Mining Industry
- 10' x 11' x 4", 250 Gallon, Drive-Through Washdown Spill Containment Berm, QuickBerm® - 28576Model No: 28576$2,126.00
- 16 Gallon Portable Self-Contained Hughes Eyewash Station, Gravity-Fed - 16GFEWModel No: 16GFEW$315.00
Mining projects expand over large areas, so it’s important to store tools or flammables close to the mining work being done. The safety chest is good piece of mine safety equipment not only to stay safe but to keep tools secure. The safety chest should be staged near mining operations to increase productivity.
DOT Can Yellow
Mining sites often run power through small- and medium-sized diesel generators. Mine safety expands beyond the actual site. Vehicles traveling between mines must adhere to regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for transporting fuel. A DOT safety can not only complies with those rules, it also provides added durability over a plastic consumer fuel can.
DOT Can Red
Some mine safety equipment, such as chainsaws and other handheld operated units, run on gasoline. The Department of Transportation allows vehicles to carry up to 440 pounds (or 12 full 5-gallon safety cans) of gasoline. But, they must use DOT approved safety cans to meet these requirements.
Mining vehicles are often covered with particulates during operation. When driving on open roads, this dust becomes airborne, posing a danger to people. When the dust settles and it rains, this hazardous substance has the potential to pollute ground water. It’s important to decontaminate vehicles to prevent transporting hazardous particulates from one mining site to the next. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) requires dust to be under control. Wash down vehicles into a washdown berm to prevent groundwater pollution, which could also be in violation of EPA regulations.
Gravity Fed Eye Wash
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) requires adequate first aid including eyewash stations and safety showers to be available and accessible on mining sites. But many sites are remote or don’t have plumbing. Mobile eye wash stations can be placed on site to protect miners in case of potential exposure to hazardous substances. These don’t require plumbing and can be moved from location to location.
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction Industry Statistics
There are 32,069 competitors in the transportation industry. Justrite’s related farm safety equipment will make you a leader in safety, workplace protections, and environmental care.
Risks of Injury
The mining Industry experiences 1.4 injuries per 100 employees each year. Less than 1 percent of employees take time off work as a result, and .2 percent need to transfer to a new job or restrict their tasks.
Between 1970 to 2010 there have been 26 mining disasters accounting for a total of 479 fatalities. (A mining disaster is characterized as an incident that resulted in 5 deaths or more.) Twenty-three of those disasters were at coal mines. Explosions were the most common cause of a mining disaster during this time period. There were 18 explosions, 3 fires, 3 failures/collapses, 1 oxygen-deficient air, and 1 caused by hydrogen sulfide gas.
Stay OSHA Compliant
In the mining industry, there are roughly 183 inspections each year. The industry spends $2,057,037 in penalties, amounting to $11,241 in penalties for each inspection. Stay OSHA compliant to keep penalties low and your reputation intact.
Contain and Manage Your Environmental Waste
The mining industry generates a staggering 13,294.5 tons of waste each year. Keep your waste safely, ethically, and compliantly contained and managed by using Justrite equipment.