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Heavy Equipment Accidents in Mining

Even though the number of fatalities in the mining industry have reduced in the US, incidents involving heavy machinery and mobile equipment that are used in mines have increased in numbers. These are common in mines that are poorly supervised or have insufficient safety measures.

Some of the common heavy equipment accidents in the industry include:

  • Collisions with other heavy equipment
  • Falling or hurled objects
  • Pinned between 2 objects
  • Collisions with machinery
  • Blind spot accidents
  • Machine entanglement

These accidents happen for a number of different reasons but insufficient training and qualifications are the most common. Large equipment require special types of licenses and if they are handled by poorly trained personnel, risks of fatal or injurious accidents rise significantly. In fact, even veteran workers can cause serious accidents especially if they forget their training, fail to take refresher courses or are inattentive at work.

Types of injuries and the compensation claim process

Due to the weight and size of the onsite equipment and the vehicles that are used, workers can suffer from debilitating injuries in an accident. These can require expensive and extensive medical care and downtime that can reduce productivity significantly or prevent the injured from working indefinitely. Some of the common ones include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Blunt force trauma
  • De-gloving
  • Limb or digit amputation
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Fractures

If you are injured on the worksite due to heavy machinery or equipment mishandling, the first thing you need to do is receive immediate medical aid. Then check whether you are covered by your state’s compensation insurance system.

If you are covered by it, you need to let your employer know as soon as possible. This includes informing him or her about your injuries, the accident and filing a formal complaint to the workers’ compensation group. You also need to provide medical records of all of the injuries you sustained to claim benefits. A workplace accident attorney can help you arrange the paperwork you need to make a good claim and get the benefits you need as soon as possible.

However, to prevent this hassle, workers need to be trained to handle heavy equipment safely on mine sites. Some of the safety procedures they should adhere to include:

  • Avoiding working on machines without the guards in place
  • Using proper lockout/tagout procedures during repair and maintenance work
  • Remaining aware of the dangers of the machinery they are operating including the power transmission parts that can injure body parts.
  • Obeying all posted warnings on the worksite
  • Staying clear of moving parts such as those on backhoes, conveyors and scissor lifts.
  • Inspecting machinery prior to use
  • Getting plenty of rest to prevent driver fatigue
  • Improving proximity detection

To prevent accidents in mining sites, mine owners and supervisors need to ensure that their personnel are trained to handle heavy equipment responsibly before they are allowed to work. This includes educating employees about personal safety and how to prevent accidents. Accounts of real life incidents can also motivate workers to retain the information they are given.

MSHA New Miner Training

According to the MSHA or the Mine Safety and Health Administration, all miners and contractors who work on the surface have to follow Part 46 regulations. These pertain to all types of mining work that requires safety measures and refresher training courses.

MSHA Mining Training package offers 27 courses that cover all 8 hours that are required for MSHA Part 46 compliance training. Whether you are a miner or a mine contractor or starting a new job at a mine, you need to complete those hours before you can start work. The course on offer has everything you need to know to stay safe including interactive training content.

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