Heat is something that must be taken very seriously in any mining environment. To ignore it is to put yourself in a dangerous situation that can easily lead to illness or even death.
Deep underground mines are considered “hot” work sites because of the heat from the rock itself. Ground water flowing through hot rock formations becomes hot and can add to the air temperature.
Activities like drilling, blasting and welding can add to the heat load that is put on miners, whether they’re on the surface or underground. Powered equipment can also increase the amount of heat found in all of these work areas.
Did you know that it’s often a coworker who is the first to notice signs of heat stress in another employee?
For that reason alone, it’s important to use a buddy system. Everyone needs to know what to watch for when working in hot mining environments, whether underground or on the surface. Take a look at this two-page “Heat Stress Overview” from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to better understand how to stay safe in these situations.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HEAT ILLNESS
- Heat exposure can cause a range of effects on your body, from irritating rashes to heat stroke, which can often be fatal.
- Heat exposure can cause confusion or poor judgment. Use the buddy system to monitor coworkers for heat illness.
- Drinking enough water is critical to prevent heat illness. Stay hydrated.
- Cooling is the treatment for all heat illness.
- On July 14, 2022