Every job has its risks. Even the most sedentary work can result in injury or illness if proper precautions aren't in place. Of course, you understand that some jobs consistently rise to the top of lists of industries carrying high risk of danger. If you work in the mining industry, you know your life is often on the line.
Mining is one of the top industries in South Dakota. Gold, silver and other minerals have lured adventure-seekers and dreamers to the state for generations, and entrepreneurs have built lucrative businesses around those dreams. Oil, natural gas fields and coal mines provide energy for the world and jobs for many hardworking residents. Nevertheless, no matter which type of mining you do, you face hazards on the job daily.
Common dangers underground
Because of the increasing attention the media has placed on the dangers of mining, safety measures have improved over the past few decades. Tragedy that is a daily event in developing countries has fallen to record-low numbers in the United States. Nevertheless, miners like you face life-threatening hazards every day, including:
- Fires erupting due to friction from seizing vehicle brakes and other factors, electrical sources, combustible engines, explosives and other incendiary sources
- Flooding from an inrush of water
- Toxins and contaminants such as dust, fumes and gases released from between layers of underground rock
- Fly-rocks, fumes, misfires, burns and other risks related to blasting
Blasting may also result in seismic activity, which can lead to instability around a mine. This is one cause of the danger you may associate most often with mine disasters: the collapse.
The use of explosives may create a catastrophic failure in the stability of the mine in which you work, causing a collapse, release of deadly gases or flooding conditions. However, those events may also occur when underground plates shift, similar to an earthquake, in response to the unavoidable destruction mining causes. Cave-ins and collapses may occur when blasting or the improper use of mining equipment triggers methane or coal dust explosions.
Timber failure is the cause of countless mine collapses throughout history and around the world. When mining or other factors stress a single timber support, the results can be a domino effect of pillar failure, which can leave you and your fellow miners with critical injuries or trapped in an oxygen deprived underground room until rescuers can perform the delicate work of extricating you.
Industrial accidents of any kind carry the risk of debilitating or fatal injuries. It may also leave you or your loved ones fighting against Goliath businesses for the compensation you deserve following your injuries. Fortunately, there are legal professionals with experiencing facing corporations and fighting for the rights of injured workers.