Everyone loves diamonds. Be it the common person or celebrities like Beyonce. Everyone wants to own a diamond at least once in their life. After all, “A diamond is forever.” But not many people know about the harsh reality behind diamond mining.
Diamond mining is a risky business. Mines have dangerous conditions such as extreme temperatures, high humidity, excessive dust, and poor air quality. Additionally, there is also a high risk of accidents and miscellaneous other hazards.
This can lead to various complications such as skin and respiratory diseases, neurological disorders, injuries, and even death. There have been countless studies and incidents that validate the safety hazards of working in diamond mines.
Thus, it is essential to provide completely safe and secure working conditions to miners to protect their health and lives. In this blog, we take a look at ten tips that can help improve and ensure worker safety in diamond mines.
1. Plan Ahead
You need to develop thorough plans before you commence any kind of work. The planning should not only focus on getting the work done efficiently but also take into consideration worker safety.
Carry out an in-depth analysis of all the risks involved with diamond mining. Calculate the best approach that can help eliminate them. If risks still exist in particular processes, provide your employees with instructions regarding how to mitigate them. The workers, too, will have high confidence moving forward with a well-thought-out plan in place already.
2. Provide Safety Equipment
Miners have a litany of personal protective equipment that they can use to shield themselves from accidents, injuries, and other hazards. The safety equipment provides head-to-toe protection.
For example, workers can protect themselves against rock falls by wearing a safety hat. Similarly, safety shoes, gloves, and safety glasses protect workers from injuries and accidents.
Thus, make sure that you provide all the necessary safety equipment to workers. Moreover, ensure that the workers put on the safety equipment at all times, especially if they are entering a hazardous zone.
You can have a safety supervisor keep track of whether the workers are wearing safety equipment or not. You can impose fines and punishment for workers found not wearing protective equipment.
Similarly, you also need to provide safety equipment for further processes like diamond cutting, shaping, and jewelry assembling to ensure worker safety. For instance, make sure that workers are provided with the right tools during jewelery designing process, such as creating the perfect diamond setting, Provide them with safety goggles, safety gloves, clothing material, and other items that can protect from any harm or injuries.
3. Provide Ventilation
Miners are exposed to harmful gasses that can have a severe impact on their health. For example, being exposed to carbon monoxide can lead to breathlessness and headaches.
Similarly, the accumulation of harmful gasses also increases the risk of an explosion and fire safety hazards. Thus, you need to provide proper ventilation in mines to ensure safe levels of gasses.
Effective ventilation can help direct the gasses out of the mines. It can also improve the airflow and bring in fresh air from outside. This provides breathable and acceptable air quality to miners.
You can also use gas detecting devices to monitor and keep gasses in control.
4. Manage Vibrations and Noise Levels
Mining operations, such as blasting, create strong vibrations and noise levels. Similarly, heavy machinery used in mining emanates loud sounds.
This can have an impact on the workers’ health. It can lead to hearing issues, changes in tendons, bones and joints, and affect the nervous system.
Thus, you need to control the sound and vibration caused by such operations. You can use strategic drilling and millisecond blasting techniques to reduce sound and vibrations.
Moreover, you can also use suppression and blast mats to bring down the intensity of sound and vibration to appropriate levels.
5. Give Training
Providing safety training is one of the easiest ways to ensure worker safety. Thus, all workers must be provided regular safety training.
The training should not be limited to just new workers. In fact, even long-standing employees should attend the training sessions to keep themselves abreast with the latest safety procedures.
Conduct proper research before employing a training services provider. Make sure that they provide theoretical and practical safety training. Additionally, ensure that the training focuses on the physical as well as mental health of the workers.
6. Enhance Visibility
Low-lit areas and dark pathways can enhance the risk of accidents and injuries significantly. Thus, it is essential to provide high illumination in all areas. This ensures that the workers have a clear understanding of their surroundings. They can perform their tasks with utmost safety.
Similarly, ensure that all the vehicles entering and exiting the mines have proper illumination. This can help prevent crashes and accidents, thus, ensure the safety of the driver and nearby workers.
7. Stay Aware of Fire Risks
There is a high possibility of fire hazards in mines due to the presence of hazardous materials and combustible gasses. Moreover, mines are tightly enclosed, which can quickly turn them into furnaces.
Thus, implement fire safety measures that can help in early detection and better management of fire hazards. For example, you can have sensors, sirens, and loudspeakers installed that can warn the workers of a fire hazard. Similarly, you can install fire suppression apparatus at various places.
Lastly, you also need to provide fire-resistant protective gear to ensure the workers’ safety in case of a fire.
8. Don’t Forget Electrical Safety
Electricity is needed to carry out mining operations. Mines are littered with electrical wires, cords, switches, and lights. Moreover, there are damp areas spread across the mine. This, naturally, exposes workers to electrical hazards such as electrocution or shock.
Thus, to maintain electrical safety, ensure that the electrical wires and other items are not left exposed. Similarly, grounding the systems can better help manage the currents. Make sure that the electrical connections don’t run close to damp areas.
Lastly, bundle up the wires and cords in a safe manner to avoid instances of workers tripping and falling.
9. Have a Medical Professional On-Site
The methods mentioned above will help enhance worker safety. But, it can’t guarantee complete safety. Accidents, mishaps, and safety lapses are bound to happen on site.
Thus, always have a medical professional on-site who can tend to the injured employees. They can provide the necessary first aid treatment that can help reduce the severity of the injuries.
Workers always face a huge risk whenever they enter a mine. The risks can have short-term and long-term consequences on their physical and mental health. It can even lead to their death. Thus, it is important to provide adequate safety to workers at all times. While the risks cannot be completely eliminated, they surely can be minimized.