Mining is one of the riskiest professions that anyone can ever take up, then we have coal mining, which is even more dangerous due to the inherent nature of the substance that is mined. The various health risks in the coal mining industry make it more hazardous than any other relevant industry, even in the mining sphere. But for those who already have their feet dipped into the coal mining business, there’s no easy way out. These coal miners put their lives on the line each day when they enter the mine shaft.
To better understand the various potential risks and health hazards associated with coal mining, we have prepared a list of the most frequent and the most deadly accidents that could happen. Perhaps this will make you empathize with the coal miners who put themselves in danger to power the modern industrial complex.
Loud noises due to the drilling and constantly running heavy machinery can cause various issues among the miners. One of the most prominent problems that the coal miners suffer from is tinnitus, problems in focusing, insomnia, and even hearing loss. The damage due to loud noises occurs over a while, which is why it’s usually not noticeable at first.
To help mitigate some of these consequences, the mining companies should utilize effective measures. The machines should regularly undergo maintenance so that they don’t make any unnecessary noises; doing so will also ensure that there are no other accidents due to faulty machinery. The workers should be provided with proper noise-canceling earmuffs, and the use of sound-absorbing materials should be promoted to control the noise at its source.
One of the most devastating calamities that could happen in a coal mine is a fire or an explosion. The fires can be caused by short-circuits in the electrical equipment or mechanical faults in the machines used. Since coal is already a very combustible material, the effects of a fire inside the mine will be especially devastating.
The miners inside the mine will be trapped and suffocated by the toxic fumes from the burning coal. Gases like carbon monoxide don’t take very long to be absorbed in the blood vessels. Once the body absorbs sufficient quantities of carbon monoxide, the results are vomiting, nausea, unconsciousness, and finally, death.
3. Respiratory Illnesses
The toxic coal dust that floats freely inside these mines is one of the leading causes of fatality due to long-term exposure. The most deadly of these fatal diseases is perhaps the CWP, also known as pneumoconiosis or black lung disease. This disease has no cure once the person is afflicted, and the situation can only be managed with support and medications.
However, some places in the world have their local legislation that entitles the coal miners to benefits if they’re diagnosed with this disease. A black lung disease lawyer in Kentucky says that a coal miner diagnosed with this disease in Kentucky is entitled to the payment of all his medical expenses, including transportation and their wage. Be sure to check your local laws since it is very likely that the local authorities have some legislation in place.
4. Mine Collapse
A mine collapse is one of those accidents in the mining industry that almost guarantees there will be no survivors. The mines are usually located deep underground, and workers mostly utilize elevators to reach the bottom. Once a coal miner is underground, they are very prone to any structural failure, if it should occur.
Most of these failures have root causes like seismic shocks, weakening timber pillars, or explosions inside the mine. The timber usually gets weak over time due to the various stresses acting on it, which results in a collapse if the support is not adequate. On the other hand, the explosions are usually caused by the combustion of methane present in the mine. It’s extremely difficult to get out of a collapsing mine, and even rescue operations are very arduous to conduct.
Coal mine workers undertake some of the most difficult missions at the bottom of the mine every day. These are heroic men because of whom our industries are growing, and our lives are easier. Nothing inside a mine is easy to do, even seeing in the pitch-black darkness of a mine is a relatively difficult task. The points mentioned above are just a few of the many life-threatening risks that these miners go through each day. For these reasons, they deserve our respect, admiration, loyalty, and support.