Underground mines can be highly dangerous as a result of the high risk nature of the environment. As miners are subject to gas, dust explosions and suffocation, accidents can occur when minimal safety precautions are put in place.
Safety regulations that have come into play over the past decade have dramatically reduced such mining incidents. However, certain mine dangers never go away. Methane, carbon monoxide, nitrogen and other potentially hazardous gases are still potential threats and mean that modern mines can also be hazardous places to work.
Many in the mining industry choose to have sophisticated safety technology in place to protect their mine from dangerous gas levels and environmental conditions. If you are looking to improve the safety measures in your mine, think about the following:
Any changes to gas levels can compromise your workforce. Miners work in a restrictive area cut off from natural daylight and open air, where further oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane are present. This leaves them exposed to potentially hazardous situations as any dangerous gas levels can affect breathing and cause fires or explosions.
While an electric safety lamp can be used to detect methane and firedamp, many modern mines choose to use a state-of-the-art fixed Trolex – gas detector. The live data the sensor provides allows you to monitor several gases, assess any slight changes and make the correct safety decisions before it becomes disastrous.Effective ventilation systems
An underground ventilation system can help miners to remain safe and comfortable. It provides a constant air flow that dilutes and removes high risk gases, minimising a worker’s exposure to any dangerous levels. So that a ventilation system continues to normalise gases effectively, many mines invest in a flow sensor that detects any alterations in performance of the ventilation system, immediately alerting you to any potential hazards.
Miners are often working with heavy duty machinery. Therefore, you should have safety programs in place to protect employees from possible danger, including suitable safety training, permits and personal protective equipment. It is also important to regularly check machinery to make sure that it is safe to use and kept to a suitable maintenance schedule. A machine monitoring system with temperature, pressure, vibration and oil level sensors allows you to survey machinery and check for a change in conditions that could compromise the safety of your workers.
Safety and efficiency
Boosting your overall mine safety with a monitoring system also gives you an opportunity to devise a valuable safety management program. Through being able to regularly analyse environmental and machine conditions, you can notice and remedy any potential pitfalls so that danger is kept at bay.
A strong safety management program also allows you to improve mine production efficiency. As the monitoring system gives you a general overview of your environment and machinery, you can check for any changes in performance, setting up any necessary maintenance to prevent unplanned and costly downtime.
Lauren writes content for Safety monitoring and gas detector specialists Trolex, and has written many digital articles about the mining and industrial markets for both the Trolex website and external sites.
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