The coal mining industry is known to be a risky business in more ways than one. Hence, it’s of the utmost importance that the workers protect themselves accordingly. The first step towards doing so is to understand the dangers and pitfalls that may await the unsuspecting wanderer. Here are 5 of them to start off with:
- Developing a musculoskeletal disorder
Due to heavy lifting or tripping, a musculoskeletal disorder can develop. Whether it’s a single traumatic event or a series of ones that emerge slowly over time, working in the coal mining industry essentially subjects you to these risks. To avoid such injuries from taking place, both the employers and the employees should constantly be working on learning more about this type of medical condition.
- Coal dust
Ever heard of the term “miner’s lung”? This refers to the state of the person’s lung that becomes blacker and blacker as time goes on. Shortness of breath is one of the resulting symptoms. Most modern mining companies tend to conduct coal analysis calculations on a regular basis and have a dust control plan in place, thus ensuring that the operations are working smoothly and that the systems are working properly. However, even in today’s world, some miners are subjected to an increased level of coal dust on a daily basis.
- Chemical hazards
Miners are forced to work in close proximity to hazardous chemicals. They most often come into contact with polymeric chemicals. Naturally, this carries all sorts of risks, including burns, poisoning, and respiratory problems. Consequently, the proper safety gear must be worn at all times when working with said materials. Safe handling procedures must also be taken into account.
- Whole body vibration
Whenever miners operate heavy machinery on a frequent basis and spend a lot of time on it overall, certain health conditions can develop as a result. Examples include cardiovascular changes, vision impairment, and even reproductive damage in female workers. Understandably, the needs of the industry may make it challenging to deal with the problem of exposure to whole-body vibration in its entirety. But even so, steps can be taken to reduce the total amount of time spent working with heavy machinery.
Believe it or not, repeated exposure to loud noises (which miners are no strangers to) can have dramatic implications on the affected individuals. The potential for developing hearing damage over time is not to be underestimated. Due to the fact that changes in one’s hearing capacity can only be noticed slowly over time, it’s often hard to notice that anything is wrong – until it’s too late. In concrete terms, various hearing disorders can develop, including tinnitus, concentration problems, and so on. Setting up absorptive panels or vibrations dampeners is the recommended route to take.
Each of these health and safety hazards has different implications for a worker’s health. That being said, they should all be taken with the seriousness they deserve. As with every professional aspect of one’s life, continuous education should always take priority, as knowledge may very well save your wellbeing one day.