Mining for gold is hazardous. It can result in critical injuries, or in some cases, fatalities. Therefore, it’s crucial that miners wear maximum protection during an operation. Similar to the precautions a construction company takes, a gold mining company needs to take specific preventive measures. This mostly includes providing safety gear or PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for miners.
We’ve listed below a few of the most important safety gear for mining gold.
1. A Helmet (Hard Hat)
This is a reinforced hat that’s used to prevent impact. At the mine site, this impact can be from above, like a falling rock, for example. It can also be lateral, like running into a piece of equipment.
According to the general method of classification, these hats are broken into two categories i.e. Type 1 and Type 2. Based on the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) system, they fall into three classes that include Class E, Class G, and Class C. All definitions are based on protection conferred. For miners, a hat usually comes fitted with a source of light (a torch). Some also have a visor installed. However, this doesn’t come cheap.
No doubt, you need to take care of such pieces of equipment to prevent breakage or loss. This is when an asset management solution or equipment tracking software comes in. Companies like Cheqroom and Asset Panda offer similar software solutions.
The key feature of an asset management system is the real-time trackers that use notifications to help you locate tools and other goods. It doesn’t matter if you’re based in North America, or the UK, with good asset management software, a project manager can schedule the use of certain goods on a mobile app and organize their return using real-time data. Your company will ultimately reduce the chances of losing critical assets, resulting in lower operating costs.
2. Reflective Clothing
Miners always wear overalls. These come fitted with bright reflectors which provide increased visibility. Sometimes, these reflecting attires come as separate jackets and trousers that are worn over work clothes. Overall, reflectors help prevent workers from bumping into each other in the dark. What’s more, miners can easily walk through the mine site without getting hurt.
Additionally, big mining companies like Alamos gold usually have specially designed clothing for their staff. Such clothing comes with specific add-ons, which confer further assistance. These may include connectors, anchors, and body support. All in all, they provide easy recovery when falling.
3. Gloves and Boots
It’s common knowledge that heavy equipment is used in the mining industry. For this reason, the protection of the miner’s hands and feet is important to prevent accidents. That’s why the gloves and boots worn at such a workplace are specialized and refortified.
Gloves are usually made of thick leather, plastic, wire mesh, or cotton. The type used is dependent on assigned work. All of these are insulated. Depending on the type, they offer a varying degree of shock absorption. Mining boots are normally high and cover the legs and reach just below the knee.
Although these boots differ based on environment and use, there are similarities. Some have a puncture-resistant sole and provide safety to the toe. Most have steel toes. Regardless of the type, they must also be waterproof and difficult to corrode when exposed to harsh conditions.
As mentioned earlier, mineworkers need protection from hazardous conditions on the job site. They also need sufficient protection from smaller particles that may cause immediate or long-term health issues that are mostly respiratory-related. These particles usually include dust, dirt, gases, chemicals, or radiation.
It’s, therefore, important that workers in operating mines wear the correct safety gear for the eyes and lungs. These include approved safety goggles and face masks. Some facilities managers may insist on the use of a face-shield also. Gas masks might also be worn to prevent the inhalation of dust and other harmful matter.
Such masks usually come with suitable filters. These give the right balance of safety and ease of use. Lastly, the noise from the mining tool and machinery can cause hearing loss. Using industrial-grade ear muffs or earplugs immensely aids in preventing auditory problems.