The use of electrical equipment in mining operations is essential but dangerous. Therefore, if you are in charge of this type of worksite, you must ensure that safety is prioritised. You should keep in mind that the mining environment has hostile conditions. Therefore, a simple electrical mishap, which would be resolved quickly in other commercial and industrial operations, could turn into a catastrophe. For instance, sparks in an area with trapped gas could result in a dangerous fire. Here are some fundamental tips to help you promote electrical mining safety.
Plan for Installation
Proper setup of the electrical elements in your mining site can minimise the risk of malfunctions and subsequent accidents. If the system is installed in compliance with the established industry standards and safety regulations, the connected equipment will work optimally. It is advisable to consult a qualified, specialised electrician for design and installation. A professional will ensure that issues such as grounding, cabling, distribution and insulation are addressed. It is also important to plan for placement of protection features such as enclosures or housing to prevent exposure of electrical units to hostile environmental conditions.
Prevent Setup Changes
You must ensure that modifications are not made to the electrical system after the initial setup by the electrician. Simple adjustments to the structure of the components could increase the risk of electrical shock, fires and other hazards. One of the common changes that workers might make is moving the sockets and plugs to more convenient locations. Unfortunately, the relocated elements could be placed in areas with flammable gases, moisture or mechanical risks. You can prevent this practice by using bolted sockets and installing locks for the enclosures of core electrical components. If modifications must be made, the work must be carried out by a qualified specialist.
Assess Your Equipment
The specific electrical equipment used in the mining operations will determine the level of safety in the worksite. Therefore, you must choose the best machines and ensure that the units are in the best condition. Where possible, low-voltage equipment should be utilised. As you might expect, high-voltage alternatives will pose more risk of dangerous electrical mishaps. You must also ensure that the electrical components on the site are compatible with the acquired equipment before use. If the power level or connectors are not well-matched, issues like sparking and overheating might occur. Finally, you should always inspect the mining equipment before connecting to power. The defective equipment must be isolated and repaired immediately to prevent permanent damage or on-site accidents.