Mining is an extremely risky business with accidents happening now and then. It is by far more dangerous than conventional office work. Although mining machines come with built-in safety measures, you still need to play your part. By observing all necessary safety precautions, not only do you protect yourself, but also the equipment and other people around the mining site.
An excavator is a common machine in the mining industry. It is incredibly famous for its versatility. These excavators are designed in such a way that they can accommodate various attachments such as mining machine buckets, augers, breakers, and many more. Here are some crucial safety tips for anyone working on a mining site.
1. Inspect the Ground Area
Before beginning work in a particular area, it would be best for you to look around for anything likely to compromise your safety. For instance, huge rocks and ditches could lead to an accident once you start mining operations.
If you are going to work in a new area, contact the local authorities for information such as electrical lines and underground pipes. If your mining machine comes into contact with live power lines, the damage could be fatal.
2. Use the Right Bucket
There are various types of excavator buckets, all created for different jobs. For instance, severe-duty buckets are ideal when you are handling abrasive materials. On the other hand, heavy-duty buckets are an excellent choice if you are working around an area with gravel and silt. Therefore, choose a bucket depending on the nature of the mining site.
Besides choosing the right bucket, be sure to adhere to the recommended load capacity. You can check the load capacity in the operator manual. Notably, exceeding the load capacity could cause the excavator to tip.
3. Observe Operator Safety
Like any other business, you could find yourself under a tight deadline. In such situations, you might be tempted to operate machinery, albeit the fatigue. However, doing so only puts you and the people around you at risk. Instead, get enough rest or delegate the work to another trained operator.
While at the mining site, ensure that everyone else in the vicinity faces the machine. Besides, as the operator, ensure that you can see them at all times. It is also important to observe other safety measures, such as wearing closed footwear and other protective equipment. Also, make use of the seatbelt at all times.
4. Watch the Elevations
Sometimes, you might need to work on sloppy areas. While working on such sites, you need to be extra careful than you would on level ground. To prevent the machine from toppling over, ensure that it is not parallel with a slope.
For additional safety on sloppy areas, carry the bucket low. That way, you can quickly drop the bucket and prevent the excavator from sliding. Most importantly, drive at a slow speed and keep an eye out for any obstacles on the way. Besides, don't leave the excavator on such grounds. Instead, look for a level ground to park it.
5. Check Excavator Fuel Levels and Controls
It would be regrettable for your machine to run out of fuel mid-operation. When your excavator runs low on fuel, it could abruptly stop working. Consequently, any load in the bucket could drop, causing damage to the people around them. Therefore, always check the fuel levels before starting any operations.
Besides fuel, check other fluids such as hydraulic and engine fluids. These fluids are essential to the smooth operation of your mining machinery. Also, test other things such as brakes and lights and ensure to have a fire extinguisher at all times. Remember that even the slightest problem could pose a significant risk. Have an eye for detail, and don't ignore anything.
Despite observing all safety precautions, some accidents are inevitable. Therefore, it is always important to be prepared for them. For starters, ensure that you and every other operator get adequate training on what to do in case of an accident. It would be best to document various safety procedures. That way, all team members know precisely how to react to particular scenarios. Above all, ensure that all the mining machines are serviced from time to time to reduce an accident's chances.
Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader having been featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms. His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.