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Electrical Safety Tips for Mining Operations
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Friday, April 27, 2018

Working with electrical equipment at a workplace is always dangerous. According to the Fire Protection Research Foundation, in a period of ten years, about 1,962 deaths occurred because of electrical equipment. Almost two-hundred of those deaths occurred in mines.

When it comes to electrical power, the mining industry presents significant danger. The materials that are mined and the gases and dust that are produced from mining operations make it relatively easy for minor electrical problems to turn into a major fire or explosion. These types of accidents can, however be avoided by following electrical safety tips discussed in this post.

1. Electrical System Installation

When installing electrical systems it’s important to follow the right procedure to minimize electrical hazards. The electrical system must always be grounded. Moreover, only heavy duty cables and wires, distribution systems and other electrical materials that meet quality standards for mines should be used.

It’s also important to insulate connectors to avoid sparking, overheating and electrical shock. Electrical insulator and conductors should also be protected from damage by using sheathing or enclosures.

2. Equipment

The wires used in electrical equipment run across mines which increases the risk of tripping, electrocution. Follow these steps to minimize potential danger from electrical wires:

Compatible Equipment
Make sure that equipment is compatible as with incompatible connectors and materials there will always be a risk of malfunction and accidents. Use keyword coding or clear marking if unrelated sockets and plugs are coupled anywhere.

Low Voltage Equipment
Try to use electrical equipment of low voltage wherever possible. If high voltage tools and equipment are necessarily required, take special precautions when using them.

Restrained Sockets
Use restrained sockets and plugs to ensure that no changes in the system are made by unauthorized workers.

Explosion Proof Equipment
Use explosion-proof equipment wherever possible to minimize risk of explosion in mines.

3. Damaged Equipment and Emergencies

In case any equipment damage occurs, you must work to minimize risk. Here’s how you can do that:

Emergency Treatment Equipment
Always prepare yourself for emergencies by placing emergency treatment equipment throughout the mine. Workers should be trained on using it. Also post notices that properly explain how to provide first-aid treatment in case of an electric shock.

Procedures for Flammable Gas
There should be a procedure in the mine that explains what should be done when flammable gas is detected inside of the mine. Turning off the electrical power should be included in the procedure as electrical equipment can create spark which could lead to ignition in presence of a flammable gas.

Handling Electrical Defects
If any electrical defect is detected, immediate action should be taken to fix it and limit risks. If repairs cannot be made immediately, the defective equipment should be isolated.

For safety in mines, electrical systems and equipment should be of high quality. At Elgin Power Solutions we can provide high quality electrical equipment of use in mines. Contact us today to discuss your needs.


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