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Electrical Safety In Mines: Some Essential Tips
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Friday, October 19, 2018

Using electrical equipment on any construction project is always hazardous as there is a risk of extensive damage, injury and fatalities. Dangerous situations can get worse if they aren’t controlled in time.

In comparison to other industries, mining is amongst the most dangerous when it comes to electrical hazards. Data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that electrical fatality rate of the mining industry is eight to twelve times more than that of other industries in United States.

Electrical injuries and deaths in mines involve using tools, machines, equipment, lightning or appliances and coming into contact with transforming, wiring or other electrical components. These types of accidents can be prevented if care is taken in dealing with electrical work. Here are some tips which can help prevent electrical hazards in mines.

1. Installation of Electrical System

When it comes to building the electrical system in a mine, absolute care is essential to control the risks. Here are a few things that can be done to minimize the risks.
  • Properly ground the electrical system.
  • Always use quality heavy duty electrical cables and wires, power distribution systems and other electrical materials that have been approved to be used in mines.
  • Don’t make any changes to any part of your system without determining the overall impact of the change on the system.
  • All connections used for electrical systems should have insulation and be able to handle high resistances to prevent electric shock, sparking, overheating and arching.
  • Use sheathing or enclosures to prevent electrical insulators and conductors from damage. 
2. Equipment Usage

Electrical wires of machines used in mines increase the risk of tripping, electrocution, etc. Take these steps to prevent hazards.
  • Always use equipment that is completely compatible as incompatible or outdated equipment can lead to serious injuries and accidents. Use keyword coding and clear markings where unrelated sockets and plugs are connected.
  • Try to use low voltage equipment in the mines that is at 50 V ac/ 120 V dc or below it. If high voltage equipment is necessarily required, take special precautions.
  • Flexible cables connected with tools should be placed in secure locations to prevent damage. Use hangers and heels whenever possible. 
3. Damaged Equipment/Emergencies

In case of damaged equipment or electrical emergencies, here are some things that should be done to minimize risks.
  • When defect is found, immediate action should be taken. Ensure that electrical power is disconnected from the damaged equipment before repairing it.
  • If defective or damaged equipment cannot be repaired immediately, then it should be isolated and taken out of service.
  • Place emergency treatment equipment across different places in the mine. Train workers on using it properly in case of an emergency. 
For higher efficiency and safety in mines, electrical systems should be of the highest quality to prevent damage. At Elgin Power Solutions, we provide you with high quality electrical supplies for safe use in mines. Get in touch with us for more details.


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