Things to Know About Cave-Ins and Rock Falls in Mining
Rock slides and cave-ins can be one of the greatest risks to the mining industry. One of the top examples of a bad cave-in comes from Chilean miners in 2010. The miners were buried in a collapsed mine for 69 days and they were eventually rescued after an international rescue effort.
This event clearly demonstrated the devastating effects of cave-ins and rock slides. To prevent such tragedies, mining companies should be proactive with their safety measures and ensure that their mines are built to withstand the weight and pressures of their operations. New modern technology has reduced the number of fatalities caused by these accidents, but it’s still important to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions.
The most common causes of cave-ins and rock slides are unstable ground conditions, improper underground construction, and overloaded excavations. To ensure safety in mines, mining companies must use proper engineering techniques when building their mines or when performing any kind of excavation work. This includes assessing the ground conditions beforehand as well as structurally reinforcing any underground structures. They should also use proper shoring techniques to support walls and ceilings and pay attention to the size and weight of any excavated material.
Longwall mining systems and guards are also important safety measures to consider when working in underground mines. Longwall systems are designed to be extra supportive and they provide reinforcement to the roof and walls of a mine. The guards help to secure the roof and walls of a mine from any sudden movement or pressure that could cause a collapse.
Despite the risks posed by cave-ins and rock slides, it’s possible to reduce the likelihood of such accidents by taking the necessary safety measures and using modern technology to help reduce the risks. Mining companies should be proactive with their safety efforts and make sure that their mines are built to withstand any pressure or movement, as well as ensure that appropriate shoring techniques are used when performing excavations.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Systems! For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of industry safety. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.