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What are the workplace dangers and protections for mine workers?

Workers in mines face a number of different dangers. In general, mining is one of the most dangerous occupations. Serious mining accidents can occur which can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. Mine accidents can include cave-in accidents, explosions, crush accidents and injuries, chemical leaks, electrocution and fires. There are a number of ways to help keep mines and mine workers safe from known dangers and risks.

Mine collapses can occur for a variety of reasons, including when the ceilings and walls of underground mineshafts are not properly secured; the mineshaft is excavated too deeply causing weakening of the structure; drill and blasting activities are improperly planned and in some other circumstances. Serious gas explosions can occur from a build up of gas which is why good ventilation is essential in the areas where workers are working to help protect them and keep them safe. Gas levels and equipment which can cause a spark must also be continuously monitored.

Mine workers face significant dangers of being crushed, pinned or run over by heavy equipment. Collision avoidance technology, as well as training and health and safety awareness, must be utilized to help keep workers safe. Chemicals must be safely secured and proper safety procedures must be followed whenever chemicals are being handled.

Although mining can be a dangerous industry, that does not mean that workers are without important protections and options if they are injured or otherwise harmed in a workplace accident. Workers have different options, including workers' compensation or third-party injury claims, to help protect them and their families following a serious workplace accident such as a mining accident.

Source:, "5 Most Dangerous Hazards That Miners Face Daily," Feb. 21, 2013

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