Common Health Risks to Watch Out for in the Mining Sector

Reducing exposure mitigates the health risks and should be the first step that mining firms take. 

FREMONT CA: The mining sector has a reputation for being a risky business, with varied health risks, and it is essential for miners to guard themselves accordingly. Mining doesn’t have to be unprotected. With the introduction of safety legislation and advances in safety equipment, the sector has seen its fatality rate drop over time. Although the objective of zero harm has not yet been achieved, it remains the standard that mining firms continue to strive towards. Here are some common health risks to watch out for in the mining sector.

Coal Dust

Dust inhalation or coal dust is one of the concerns for miners. The ongoing inhalation of dust can cause miner’s lung or black lung. Miner’s lung is a form of lung disease group pneumoconiosis. It differs in severity, but symptoms comprise shortness of breath and scarring of lung tissue, which can cause ongoing respiratory problems. Respiratory protection should be leveraged when dust control protection is being deployed, maintained or repaired. Medical screening and surveillance is also vital.


Mines are noisy places, with drilling and heavy machinery, and the ability for hearing damage is quite serious. It can be seamless for people to mentally get used to loud noises, but that doesn’t mean that harm isn’t still being done. Many people don’t notice the harm to their hearing until long after being exposed to the noisy environment, as most damage happens slowly. To guard workers against noise, mining firms should evaluate working conditions and noise exposure through risk evaluations.

Whole Body Vibration

Whole-body vibration is a slow forming physical damage in mining workers and other occupations that work with heavy machinery. In the mining environment, WBV can be impacted either by spending a lot of time sitting on machinery, which is most of the time in mining extraction or standing, like working on jumbo operators. Again, mitigating exposure also decreases the health risks and should be the first step that mining firms take.

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