Improve Safety on Mining Sites with Good Mining Equipment Maintenance
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Safety is of great concern in the mining industry, which is highly complex and high-risk by nature. With injuries, fatalities, or near-misses that make national or international headlines and mar their reputation.  With workers operating and maintaining large, complicated equipment, in hostile and extreme environments, its crucial that the mining sector improves their safety performance

Machinery Accidents

Machinery Accidents

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “Coal mining had the highest incidence rate of severe machinery accidents (36.8 per 100,000 workers), followed by nonmetal mining (32.0), sand and gravel (30.9), stone (23.6) and metal mining (20.7). This resulted in an average of 29.6 severe injuries per 100,000 workers across all commodities”.

It is surprising to mining personnel that the easy tasks of maintenance are the cause of so many serious injuries and fatalities. Therefore, improving the safety procedures to the maintenance of equipment and machinery is the most direct and effective ways to improve safety.

The Causes of Mining Maintenance Injuries

The danger of maintenance lies also in the complexity of mining machinery. Accidents occur when workers are not properly trained to operate and maintain large and complicated machines. In the process of maintenance, some companies fail to implement proper monitoring, procedure compliance, and procedural checklists. Another important aspect is faulty equipment design. Steps must be taken to reduce the risk and ensure the safety of the workers.

How to Improve Equipment Maintenance Safety

How to Improve Equipment Maintenance Safety

The key improving maintenance safety is to use safer equipment as the first and primary way to improve safety. Most mines implement checklists, improve training, change work schedules, launch new safety programs, enhance emergency response plans, and host motivational talks. Whilst these are important steps in the reduction of injuries, they miss the crucial issue of maintainability which is one of the main causes of injuries. Generally, no safety program will mitigate the risks associated with risky maintainability on poorly designed mining equipment.

Regular Checks and Up-keep

When workers are licensed and trained to operate equipment this would include the requirement to carry out regular or periodic checks on the equipment to identify faults and deficiencies like wear and tear on parts. This would include regular and thorough cleaning of the equipment using the correct products. All this prolongs the life of the equipment and improve its overall performance. 

Train Workers Properly 

The key to the effective maintenance of mining equipment is worker training. Because mining machinery is so specialised, it takes the specific knowledge to properly service equipment. Equipment should be serviced strictly by workers with appropriate training in both maintenance and safety. 

Implement a Maintenance Strategy 

Preventive Maintenance

Set up preventive maintenance checks completed at predetermined intervals. 

Condition-based Maintenance

Is continually monitoring the equipment and its performance using visual inspection, sensors, and scheduled maintenance tasks to keep everything running smoothly. 

Predictive Maintenance

Is about trying to forecast where things could go wrong, thereby getting ahead of the problems before it’s too late.  

Good Mining Equipment Maintenance is Essential

Good Mining Equipment Maintenance is Essential

Well planned mining equipment maintenance is key when it comes to safety on the mine sites.  In addition, by using equipment specifically designed with safety in mind, allows the maintenance process to become an easier job. Safety programs alone will not mitigate the risks associated with faulty maintainability on poorly designed mining equipment. 

Both equipment and personal are crucial to the mining operations. With thorough training and high-grade equipment mining operations can ensure that steps have been taken to prevent serious injury or death.

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