Work is challenging, and you’ve got to be tougher when you’re in the mining industry. Standing for an entire 12-hour shift is, but an understatement, as you would also need to navigate through dimly lit tunnels, traverse muddy and slippery terrain, walk up and down ramps or stairs, and even transport heavy objects or operate high-risk machinery.
Whether you work as a miner, a heavy-equipment operator, or a mining engineer, you would need to be mindful where you step on, as it can cause potential injuries. Mining is considered a high-risk occupation, with high incidents of injuries and fatalities reported each year.
You’re sure to encounter hazards on-ground and under, that you would need protective equipment to keep you safe during your entire shift. A hard hat, safety vest, protective mask, and gloves can do you good, but it’s not complete without durable miner boots.
Mine Safety Walking Tips
Working in the mines is tough and requires an intelligent response to handle all the challenges in a day’s work. As most of the mineworkers spend their time walking or doing other related tasks, here are some helpful tips to ensure safety:
- Follow Prescribed Safety Guidelines
Safety rules and regulations in the mining industry are in place to ensure workers are safe as they perform their tasks. Workers are required to use all of their protective equipment upon entering the site, especially footwear like miner boots steel toe-Ever Boots.
Hard hats protect the head from falling debris or low ceilings in underground tunnels, while safety vests and gloves protect you from dangerous materials that may come into contact with you. Safety masks also prevent particles from entering your nostrils and lungs. Aside from this, you may also wear ear protectors when blasting ores.
You’ll also need durable footwear to protect your toes and ankles from numerous hazards. The steel toe protects the feet from falling objects, sharp rocks, dangerous chemicals, and molten objects.
- Use Lighting Gear
When working underground or in a dimly-lit environment to extract coal, metal ores, or semi-precious stones, you’ll need bright headlamps to guide you. The light increases your field of vision so that you can see what you’re stepping on and avoid objects along the way. Alternately, you can rely on 5- or 10-foot candles when drilling, mucking, or scaling. These candles work well to illuminate your work area and help you anticipate dangers such as crumbling rocks and potentially dangerous situations.
- Hold On To Handrails
Mining activities may require you to go up and down the surface using stairs and ladders. You may also need to walk on inclined surfaces when hauling ores or boarding machinery. It’s essential to use handrails as these areas can become slippery. Slip and fall accidents can result from slippery or uneven surfaces and cause non-fatal injuries in the mining industry.
- Be Careful Around Machines
Apart from walking around tunnels and on the ground, mining workers also operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers, back loaders, and dump trucks to transport materials. It would be best if you were careful when you’re in or around heavy equipment, as mechanical malfunction can cause objects to fall and crush your feet. It’s best to stay away from moving vehicles and always ensure that operators can see you before loading or unloading materials.
- Inspect Your Boots
Miner boots are designed to be solid and durable, but they can succumb to wear and tear due to the heavy demands in mining jobs. An infographic from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) encourages mine workers to check their boots for damage. Separated soles, torn insulation, holes or cracks, and puncture marks on miner boots compromise protection, and it may cause injury to mine workers if these are not immediately replaced.
Miner work boots generally last for six months, but you would need to get a new pair if you see any of the above signs. You can ask your company if they shoulder replacements or if you would need to purchase them at your expense. It’s best not to delay replacement as it could mean the difference between a complete workday and a work-related injury.
Mining is considered a risky profession, and it’s best to uphold safety protocols while you’re on the job. This entails wearing appropriate PPE from head to toe, miner steel toe boots included. They can help protect your feet while you stand, walk, and perform different underground, on-ramps, and machinery tasks.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.