The mining industry has always been an important part of the American economy. It has also always been a fairly dangerous industry. The odds of a serious injury or even a fatality, should an accident happen, remain fairly high. Things have gotten safer over the years, as more regulations and safety laws have come onto the books, but there are some inherent dangers that you simply cannot avoid.
To get a better idea of the risks that these workers face, here are a few of the main hazards:
- Breathing in the fine dust created by mining. This can lead to a condition called pneumoconiosis.
- Getting injured in a mining collapse.
- Getting trapped within a mine after a collapse.
- Breathing toxic air, especially on a consistent basis.
- Getting exposed to high levels of radon, which is known to cause cancer.
- Breathing in fumes from machines, welding setups and much more.
- Having to carry heavy loads.
- Getting injured by machinery or vehicles.
- Getting exposed to dangerous substances like mercury.
- Being exposed to high noise levels every day.
The most obvious risk that those who do not work in the mines often think of first is the danger of a collapse. It’s dramatic and shocking when it happens, but it’s very rare. Workers realistically face greater issues related to the air they breathe and the tough working conditions. Some of this exposure doesn’t even seem dangerous at the time, but can lead to long-term issues like cancer, hearing loss, respiratory illness and the like.
If you get injured due to your job in the mining industry, be sure you are well aware of the legal options you have.