Quarry Mining Vehicle and Safety Equipment

The Checkers brand began in the mine sites and today we manufacture an extensive line of safety products for the mining and oil and gas industries. Including cable/hose protection, beacons, warning whips, ground protection, and wheel chocks. Our products comply with the safety requirements of these industries and they ensure a safe working environment. All of our oil and gas safety equipment are engineered in collaboration with operations managers and safety experts to work with a wide range of equipment and vehicles. Checkers products are built from the highest quality materials, which enables them to withstand the harshest and most extreme working and weather conditions.

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Keeping workers safe in mining and quarry sites is challenging due to the variety of risks that exist on the job sites. In addition to occupational and environmental risks, there is the added danger of moving vehicles and machinery. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 40 percent of fatalities in the industry was due to the operation of machinery in 2015 [1]. The mining and quarrying industries operate in tough environments and can pose a very real danger to workers if safety procedures and proper equipment are not used on the worksite. 

The Dangers of Mining

Throughout history, mining has been one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. 

Workers are exposed to potentially unstable tunnels, dust, or other highly combustible materials on a daily basis. Although it may not happen often, some of the worst workplace disasters in history have been mine collapses or explosions. Although there are plenty of improved safety regulations and technology in the industry, mining and quarrying is still a dangerous job. Here are some common dangers workers in the industry can face. 

  • Explosions: Flammable chemicals and gases are often running through pipes in an underground mine that poses a potential threat of an explosion.
  • Collapses, rock falls, or cave-ins: The roof of a mine can collapse or rocks, and debris can become unstable in a mine or quarry and possibly strike workers. 
  • Fires: Due to the flammable chemicals and gases in the mines, there is a potential for fires. Traditional fire suppression systems may not always be suitable for certain mining environments. 
  • Electrical hazards: Many mines have electrical equipment used on a regular basis that can pose a risk of fire, shock, or arc flash. 
  • Dust exposure: Workers are at risk of breathing in dust and debris while working.
  • Vehicle hazards: Industrial vehicles like cement trucks, cranes, or tractors are used at mining and quarrying sites. These vehicles often do not offer great visibility to operators and can put all the workers at the site at risk.
  • Entanglement in machinery: Conveyors, crushers, and screens are commonly used on mining and quarry worksites and pose injury risks for workers. 
  • Fall injuries: Workers face risks for falls from height and proximity to dangerous openings.
  • Dermatitis and other skin injuries: Contact with chemical substances and exposure to UV rays can cause burns, rashes, and allergic reactions.
  • Occupational injuries: Lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling heavy loads can cause muscle strain and fatigue.
  • Noise: Industrial equipment used in the confined spaces are loud and can cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Excessive vibration: The use of hand-held power tools can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome [3] and circulatory problems.
  • Poor ergonomics: Awkward body postures or repetitive movements can result in upper-limb disorders, repetitive strain injury, and other musculoskeletal conditions [4].

Mine Safety Equipment

According to a study conducted by USA Today, most of the accidents that occur on the job site involved machine operators. USA Today reports that the rate of fatal injuries in 2017 was 11.7 per 100,000 workers [2]. The study further indicates that mining machine operators suffer a fatality rate over three times the national rate. 

The most common fatal accidents in the industry were due to contact with objects and equipment. Fortunately, there are reliable and economical safety solutions to help keep workers safe. 

Vehicle Identification Lights

Visibility is a key factor in reducing struck-by incidents involving heavy equipment. One way to increase visibility is with the use of vehicle identification lights. These lights feature high output LED lights that provide superior visibility during the day or night. The numbers can be viewed when the vehicle is not powered and they are constructed to withstand high-pressure washing, impact, vibration, and temperature shifts. Adding these lights to heavy-duty vehicles will allow for easy identification from a distance and in various weather conditions. 

Warning Whips

Most equipment operators have limited ground visibility while operating large industrial vehicles and equipment. Warning whips on smaller equipment can increase visibility in visually challenging situations. Industrial strength warning whips are constructed with fiberglass resin to ensure the highest performance in any condition. Featuring heavy-duty fluorescent flags, these whips make vehicles, equipment, or important locations easily identifiable and visible at work sites.

Wheel Chocks

Chocking all vehicle wheels when not in use or parked on an incline can prevent unintentional movement. Chocks can help prevent movement while workers are loading, unloading, hitching, unhitching, or servicing the vehicle. Heavy-duty wheel chocks are constructed with highly durable yet lightweight polyurethane construction for use with heavy equipment such as haul trucks, loaders, and cranes. 

Cable Protectors 

Exposed electrical cables, cords, and hoses pose a risk for fall accidents, fire, shock, or arc flash hazards, and damage from vehicle traffic on a worksite. A durable cable protection system can provide a safer method of passage traffic while protecting valuable electrical cables, cords, and hose lines from damage.

Safety Standards and Regulations

Mines and quarries can be dangerous workplaces for employees. Federal law holds mine operators responsible for their employees' health and safety. Although the highest risk of serious injury or death to workers is due to hazards involving vehicles and mobile equipment at mines and quarries, other worksite hazards affect worker and business performance. 

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 outlines the regulations to help employers provide a safe working environment.  Under the Acts, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) holds employers responsible for ensuring that workers healthy safe working environment [5]:

  • The immediate notification of minor accidents, injuries, and illnesses 
  • Establishing training programs that fulfill the requirements of the Mine Act
  • Emergency response plans approved and re-certified by MSHA every six months
  • Use of commercially available safety equipment and technology
  • Use of wireless communications and electronic tracking systems approved by the Secretary of Labor
  • Two rescues teams that are able to respond within a half an hour
  • Report of a potentially fatal injury within 15 minutes of the accident

Other penalties and standards for the mining and quarry industry are available from the Department of Labor

Keeping employees safe in the mining and quarry industry takes adequate planning and training. With the help of dependable and durable safety equipment, keeping workers safe is simple and affordable.

Sources:

  1. 1. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/works/statistics/factsheets/miningfacts2015.html

  2. 2. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/01/08/most-dangerous-jobs-us-where-fatal-injuries-happen-most-often/38832907/

  3. 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5349719/

  4. 4. https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/health-strategies/musculoskeletal-disorders/evaluation-measures/index.html

  5. 5. https://www.oshaeducationcenter.com/articles/msha/

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