No one ever goes into the mining industry in Minnesota thinking it’s the safest profession in the world. But despite the dangers, awareness of the most common workplace hazards can help mitigate the risk of injury.
How common are slip and fall injuries in the mining industry?
Injuries from slips, trips and falls that lead to workers’ compensation claims are common across countless industries, and mining is one of them. 2021 saw 771 slip and fall injuries reported out of 3,421 reported mining injuries in total. These numbers come from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
Mobile equipment tends to be particularly hazardous to those who work around or directly with it. Large haul trucks, dozers and loaders also present significant dangers, according to the report from NIOSH. The company must regularly inspect and maintain ingress and egress systems on mobile equipment. A complete and thorough inspection is key to spotting problems before they create an injury.
Certain types of equipment can be dangerous, but they’re needed to get the job done. Still, there are some ways of minimizing the risk. For instance, you can store cleaning materials in parking areas so someone can clean the contaminants off of equipment promptly and regularly. That way, nothing is left on the equipment that might be slippery, causing falls.
Lighting, ladders and stairs
There also must be 20 lux of uniform illumination to ensure maximum visibility, so nothing gets lost in the shadows to trip over. Employees should also have an assigned parking area to avoid clutter and disorder on walkways, which can create a severe problem in a mine.
Many slips, trips and falls can be avoided in mining settings when workers remember to make proper use of ladders and stairs. It also follows that ladders and stairways must be clear and accessible with sufficient handholds.
Slips and falls are the second most common cause of nonfatal injuries in mining, and it often results in time lost on the job. There can be a minefield of hazards in this setting — from equipment to walkways and other conditions of the workspace. But you can prevent these injuries sometimes if you know what to watch out for.