Mining began in Canada 200 years ago but only became a full-grown industry in the last half century as the government began to fully support mineral exploration. Since then, the mining industry has created employment for thousands of Canadians and contributes a huge portion to the country’s annual gross domestic product and international trade.
However, early mining operations in Canada were dangerous and there were many accidents claiming hundreds of lives between 1900 and 1960. Today, after decades of development, the mining industry has reversed this situation and has become one of the safest industries in the country. In Ontario alone, the rate of mining lost time injury was reduced by 96 percent in 30 years.
Along with safer practices and the development of a strong safety culture, technology has been key in the dramatic drop in fatalities and injuries in mines. From remote-controlled equipment to improved wireless communication, the mining industry has greatly increased both worker safety and productivity. It’s no wonder that many of today’s youth are motivated to seek a career in mining.
Today’s mines are safer than ever due to mining companies’ compliance with the Underground Mining Regulations made under Section 82 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act S.N.S. 1996. One of the most important aspects highlighted in these regulations is safety in the operation of mobile equipment and mine cars. OSHA requires mine managers to provide a comprehensive set of procedures in the use and maintenance of mine cars to ensure the prevention of accidents that may occur during their use.
Of course it’s not just the mine operation that determines whether or not mine cars are safe. Mine owners and managers also have to factor in the quality of the mine rail cars they’ll be using in their operations. Not only should these underground vehicles be easy to operate, they must also be designed to meet OSHA and CSA standards.
Prominent suppliers of underground rail cars, such as Wabi Iron & Steel Corp, are certified through ISO 9001, CBW (fusion welding), and APEO, which ensures that the mine cars they build for their clients are of the highest quality. Obtaining equipment that has been manufactured to meet or exceed industry standards is crucial to maintaining safety in today’s mine operations.
(Source: Today’s miners: It’s always safety first, CanadianMiningJournal.com)