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Mining Accidents and Injuries

Mining Accidents and Injuries

An accredited specialist in personal injury should be consulted if you are injured in a workplace accident from mining. There are a number of critical issues that may need to be addressed in order to assess your injuries, determine negligence, and calculate the compensation that you need for your losses. This is important for all miners including ‘fly in fly out’ workers and mining workers from towns such as Mackay, Moranbah, Emerald, Mt. Isa, etc.

Some of the most common scenarios in which miners can suffer injury while at work include:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

There may be a number of motor vehicles used in the mining industry such as excavators, dump trucks and loaders. Collisions between vehicles, stationary objects and people may be some of the most common accidents that occur with these types of machinery. Vehicle rollovers and tipping may also occur. These issues may be caused by a number of potential factors such as low lighting, poor visibility, horseplay, weather conditions and workers being distracted while in the course of employment.

Mining Collapse

Working in the mines underground can pose serious risks if safety precautions are not exercised such as properly securing the walls and ceilings of mineshafts. Subsidience is also a potential issue and occurs in phenomena such as when the Earth’s surface shifts downward relative to declines such as sea-level. There are risks when mine shafts are excavated too deeply and weaken the structure, which can cause injury from falling rocks onto miners and being trapped underground. Cave-ins and mining collapses leading to being trapped underground may be a potential risk to FIFO workers in the mines.

Vibration Syndromes

Whole body vibration (WVS) can be a cause of low back pain, bone damage, joint and tendon injuries, muscle injuries and other issues. This may be due to workers being exposed in constantly vibrating environment such as sitting in heavy vehicles such as bulldozers, loaders and other trucks. Excessive exposure to vibrations through the hands, especially when using hand-held power tools, can lead to hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) that can cause damage to bones, joints and muscles in the fingers, hand, wrist and elbows.

Machinery Accidents

The operation of heavy machinery can lead to significant risk of injury when safety precautions and equipment maintenance are not adhered to. Extremities such as fingers can often be caught in moving parts of machinery and may be a common injury in industrial workplaces. Sometimes, heavy machinery can lose balance and tip over, causing injuries to the employees.

Faulty Equipment

Faulty machinery can cause burns, lacerations, fractures or other serious injuries. Power tools, safety equipment and other relevant machinery for the workplace must be fit for purpose and thoroughly maintained in a satisfactory condition to be operated by employees.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slip & trip injuries, as well as falling injuries, can occur from walking on uneven or wet surfaces such as areas that are muddy or have significant water build up. There are also a number of factors that can also contribute to these accidents such as low visibility due to poor lighting, ground hazards from loose cables, hoses or ropes. Falling injuries may occur on highwalls, slopes or areas with weak structural integrity.

Gas Explosions

Gas explosions may occur in coal mines and may be caused by the build-up of methane gas within mining pockets underground. If adequate ventilation is not provided, the risk can be substantial if accompanied by faulty electrical equipment, plugs or connections that may cause sparks that could trigger a gas explosion causing injury or even death.

Chemical Accidents

Toxic and dangerous chemicals may be present, which may be used to transform mined ores from their natural state into useable commodities for proper purpose. A spillage or a leak from the storage containers that house these chemicals may occur and cause burns when contact is made with the skin. A miner’s employer must ensure that adequate ventilation is available for these storage facilities so miners do not inhale any toxic fumes, and safety precautions must be used to ensure that chemicals are safely stored and proper safety equipment is used. Failing to do so may result in serious injury, especially if it involves contact with a vulnerable body part such as chemicals getting in someone’s eyes.

Dust Diseases

Dust particles containing asbestos, coal, silica and other minerals and metals may be a risk to miners. Inhalation of these particles may be severe and lead to illnesses such as lung cancer, chronic bronchitis or obstructive pulmonary disease, silicosis, asbestosis or mesothelioma.

Electrocution & Fires

Exposure to wet environmental areas that miner’s must work in can lead to an electrical hazard when combined with the usage of heavy electrical equipment. Gas leaks or spillages of flammable liquids may also cause a fire. This places a worker at risk to burns, and electrocution injuries if a fire or electrical accident is caused.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Heavy physical labour in the mining profession can lead to sprains and strains, shoulder injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, and knee injuries such as bursitis. These injuries can occur during the course of employment from manual lifting, especially in awkward postures from working in confined areas such as mines. Vibration from equipment and hand-held tools that are utilized overhead may also lead to musculoskeletal disorders.

Knee Injuries

Meniscal tears, bursitis, osteoarthritis and other wear and tear injuries to the knees may be a common injury for many miners. Daily work activities that require squatting and kneeling, as well as being enclosed in areas where it is difficult to stretch increase the risk of miner’s being subject to these kinds of injuries.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

A miner is exposed to constant noise from equipment, mine blasting and other aspects that can cause loud and continuous amounts of noise. This can lead to damage to the inner structures of the ear and result in permanent hearing loss.

 

Speak with an accredited specialist in personal injury today in order to learn about your legal rights if you have been injured while in the course of employment as a miner. A Brisbane personal injury lawyer will be able to apply the law to your mining accident and its unique circumstances in order to assist you with getting the compensation you need.

DO NOT ACCEPT any lump sum offer from WorkCover or your insurance company without first speaking to a personal injury lawyer. Take advantage of a lawyer’s expertise to avoid compromising your legal rights to compensation.

If you are interested in a free, no obligation case review of your accident and injuries, please contact us or fill in the case review form.