One issue that is top of mind for drillers, operations managers and mining companies is safety on the drill site. We’ve written about heat, cold, moving machinery and more, so now I want to talk about safety gear. Specifically, safety gear every driller should know about, have and use.
The requirements change in order to better protect workers and new products and procedures have been developed since the old days of diamond drilling. Here now is a look at some of the safety gear you should be using
High visibility vests
Fluorescent colours are the way to go. Orange is often the colour of choice is orange as it is highly visible in most environments.
In addition to a large “X” on the vest, striping should be on arms and legs to make sure all body parts are visible.
Reflective material for hard hats
Simple hardhats are not enough anymore, you should have reflective striping on the front, back and sides.
Goggles provide better protection than safety glasses. They provide protection from the sides not only the front.
Gloves should always be worn when you are drilling. Wear thick rubber gloves when you are applying grease to drill rods and other equipment and nitrile dipped gloves for pretty much everything else.
Drills are really noisy especially in underground settings. Make sure you have ear protection. These should have “hot dots” made of reflective material on them as well.
It used to be that steel-toed boots were the standard safety requirement. Now boots should have greater safety features. These include a metatarsal guard and steel shank to protect your entire foot.
You should always check with the particular mining company to see if they have specific requirements. Often, certain regions have additional safety gear that you should be wearing. For example, where snakes and other wildlife and fauna can pose a risk, you may need to add gear like thigh-high leather leggings to protect from snake bites.
Too often, younger drillers can think they are invincible and realize their vulnerability only after an accident. It’s always better to be safe than sorry so take the proper steps to make sure you are protected. This means taking any training in addition to being current on the safety gear that is required.