Mining in Australia is a very lucrative business. In a country so rich in natural resources and raw materials, many Aussies and foreigners work Australian mines; whether it be mining for gold, copper, iron ore, or dozens of other raw materials.
Mines can be hazardous places to work. Depending on the type of mine, things like explosives may regularly be used, there can be the risk of cave-ins, fire breaking out, gas leaks, exposure to hazardous materials, and more.
Many protection measures are put in place in the Australian mining industry and one very important component of keeping mines safe is signage. Whether it be mining fire protection or warning signage regarding other hazards such as high voltage, for example, all mines should have safety signage in appropriate locations in and around the mine that are clear for everyone to see.
Let’s Look at Some Tips on Safety Signage At Mining Sites.
#1. Why Warning and Safety Signage Is Important
Without safety signage in a mine, workers and visitors will often have little or no idea that a particular area of the mine presents a certain hazard. The idea of signage might seem like a simple and basic concept, but signs can save lives and prevent accidents.
Another important thing signage does is act as a constant reminder for people working in the mine. Even if workers are aware of the inherent dangers, it can be human nature to be so focused on other tasks that we forget about safety or possibly even tend to ignore the danger presented by hazards. When safety signage is prominently displayed in key locations within a mine, these signs act as a constant prompt and reminder to be mindful of the dangers and maintain proper workplace health and safety standards at all times.
#2. Common Types Of Safety Signage Used In the Mining Industry
The type of signage displayed in an Australian mine will vary depending on the operation. Fire is always a risk in any mining operation, so mining fire protection signs of some description will be displayed in most, if not all mines. The No Smoking sign is a common one, as are signs to indicate flammable materials. If a worker decides to light up a cigarette in a confined space that contains flammable material, for example, this could spell disaster. Safety signage can prevent this from happening.
Signage to warn workers that forklifts or heavy earth moving equipment are in use is another common type of safety sign you’ll find within a mine. Signs depicting the safety gear that must be worn at all times within areas of the mine are also extremely common and necessary to serve as a constant reminder for the safety of workers.
Many mining operations contain areas of high voltage, such as underground cables and the level of voltage they produce. Signage can prevent the chance of someone being electrocuted and can also prevent an electrical fire from breaking out inside the mine.
#3. How To Know What Signage You Need and Where
Not all mining operators are going to fully understand what type of signage is required for the mine or where best to place safety signs. Therefore, you must call in the help of professionals to advise you on this. For example, in the instance of signage pertinent to fire safety, call in a professional fire protection services company to assess your mining operation and advise you on what signage is necessary for fire safety and where best to locate each allocated sign.
The same applies to other types of hazards within the mine. Call industry professionals to give you sound advice. This way, you can be sure your mine has all of the necessary signage, is a safe place to work, and also remains compliant with the law.
You’ll also want to maintain your current signage by keeping it clean and legible. Any damaged or hard-to-read signs should be replaced as soon as possible.
Mining operations can be made so much safer with the addition of appropriate signage. Safety signs are such a simple solution but something that can and will save lives.