Good mining equipment maintenance is key when it comes to safety on the mining site. Mine safety topics usually include training staff and using the right equipment, but equipment maintenance is often overlooked.
The mining industry maintenance has various facets, from something as small as safety glasses to bigger equipment like machinery. And keeping every part of the process in tip-top shape is crucial to protect your employees and keep your business running smoothly.
Why is Mining Equipment Maintenance Important?
The maintenance of mining equipment increases the company’s overall efficiency and performance and improves the safety of its employees. Furthermore, equipment that does not get the necessary maintenance when needed could result in faulty equipment, putting your company and its employees in grave danger.
Why is Safety Important in Mining?
Mining is a high-risk industry, with accidents more prevalent than many other sectors. However, simple maintenance checks can often avoid many of these errors and accidents to keep your mining business running without a hitch—or injury!
How Can We Improve Mining Safety?
Through regular maintenance checks and tweaks, you can avoid catastrophe. It could end in a much bigger problem if you turn a blind eye to something even as small as a windscreen crack. Therefore, keeping a close eye and stepping in at an early stage where maintenance is required could save lives and your business reputation.
What are the Hazards of Mining?
Mining machinery used is complex and could cause fatal accidents. Therefore, accidents can occur when workers are either not adequately trained to handle the equipment or said equipment have not gone through the necessary maintenance checks.
Establish a Culture of Safety
The culture within a company is defined as the beliefs and behaviours that determine how employees and management interact. Therefore, a culture of safety in the workplace goes beyond the mere understanding of safety procedures. The value placed on safety and the extent to which people take personal responsibility must be shared by everyone involved.
Opposition to a Culture of Safety in the Workplace
- Safety procedures that aren’t user friendly
- The ineffective communication of safety information to employees and contractors
- Poor management
- Staffing issues around workloads, like poor shift patterns and fatigue
- Lack of resources for maintenance, inspection and testing
How to Cultivate a Culture of Safety
- Essentially, the key to establishing a safety culture is to empower employees to do their job safely
- Safety information needs to be user-friendly, understandable, up-to-date and clearly communicated
- Positive collaboration builds trust and allows for organisational improvements
- Culture filters down from the top, so leading by example is vital
- The investment of money and time is vital when implementing safety standards because this enables comprehensive training, assessments and improvements
What Equipment is Needed to Mine?
Mining equipment includes anything from large mining trucks, drills, electric rope shovels, wheel tractor scrapers, dozers, graders, longwall shearers, draglines, and more.
How Do I Maintain My Equipment?
Here are a couple of ways to ensure your mining equipment is in the best (and safest) shape.
1. Ensure Proper Lubrication
You should always check and lubricate your mining equipment regularly. Furthermore, employees should know how much lubrication is necessary to avoid causing other problems.
2. Keep Equipment Clean
Mud, dirt, and grit in the mining industry are unavoidable. However, dirty equipment has a much higher risk of breaking down, causing production to come to a halt. You should regularly and thoroughly clean equipment using the correct products. The machinery and all essential components should be stored inside a protective structure when not in use.
3. Address Wear and Tear Immediately
All mining equipment should be checked regularly for wear and tear on parts. You should address this immediately to prolong the lifetime of the equipment and improve its overall performance.
4. Train Workers Properly
The key to the effective maintenance of mining equipment is employee training. Since mining machinery is so specialised, it takes the proper knowledge to properly service equipment. Equipment should be serviced strictly by employees with appropriate training in both maintenance and safety.
5. Implement a Maintenance Strategy
Set up preventive maintenance checks completed at predetermined intervals.
You should continually monitor your equipment and its performance using visual inspection, sensors, and scheduled maintenance tasks to keep everything running smoothly.
All this means is that you should try and forecast where things could go wrong, thereby getting ahead of the problems before it’s too late.
Is There Legislation for Mining Safety?
Yes, there is legislation for mining safety, for example, XIR glass and windscreen regulations on commercial mining sites. This covers and protects the business and the employees, contractors and their employees, labour-hire workers and their agents, and anyone else involved in the plant’s maintenance, design, supply or installation when incidents occur.
What Can be Done to Prevent Mining Accidents?
The complexity of mining machinery makes this industry such a dangerous one. Most accidents happen when workers are not properly trained to operate the large and complicated machines correctly.
Therefore, you should never overlook the thorough maintenance of mining machinery.
Proper monitoring, procedure compliance, and procedural checklists are a critical part of the maintenance procedure, yet most mining companies fail to implement these elements.
How to Improve Equipment Maintenance Safety
1. Use Safer Equipment
By using equipment specifically designed with safety in mind, maintenance becomes an easier job. No amount of safety programs will appease the risks associated with faulty maintainability on poorly designed mining equipment.
2. Planning and Communication is Key
You should never compromise anyone’s safety when trying to meet deadlines or boost the quality of work.
3. Get Professional Training
All team members, new and old, should undergo regular safety training. The power of refresher courses should not be dismissed.
4. Always Wear Safety Equipment
All workers must wear the necessary safety equipment when operating heavy machinery.
5. Document Your Safety Procedures
Safety procedures must be clearly defined so that all employees know exactly what to do in crises. Ensure that instructions are displayed prominently in locations that team members can easily access.
6. Stay Up to Date
Ensure all safety equipment is serviced regularly and satisfies all the latest safety standards. If an item no longer complies with the current safety standards, replace it, even if this means increasing expenses or delaying a project.
7. Improve Visibility on Site
Proper lighting is a must to ensure the safety of your employees at a mining company. From on-site vehicles to underground tasks, a clear view of the surroundings can significantly minimise accidents.
8. Keep Electrical Safety in Mind
All the cords and electronics in damp mines can raise the risk of electrocution or electric shock while maintaining electrical safety can protect workers from the hazard.
Mining Equipment Maintenance is Key, So Start Today
At Dean’s Autoglass, we can help you with on-site earthmoving equipment glass and heavy machinery glass repair and replacement. Contact us today to keep your machinery safe and downtime to an absolute minimum!