This safety share doesn’t just apply to underground but any road that
you travel on.
It’s that time of the year when driving conditions change on surface
and also underground. Out of my 19 years of underground mining I have lost more friends and coworkers to car accidents than work related fatalities.
2022, estimating that 42,795 people died in motor vehicle traffic
crashes. This represents a small decrease of about 0.3% as compared to 42,939 fatalities reported for 2021.
If you work in a mine that is a portal mine then you will experience
more road condition changes than a shaft mine. If you’re in an area
that gets really cold, snow or other severe weather then your main
roadways can be a very dangerous situation to travel on.
I myself have experienced some sketchy descents into a portal that is snow and ice covered for the first 100’ or more. Going into a portal or out of a portal you should always radio out what you’re coming in and out of the mine with. Also before descending you should always do a brake check that the manufacturer provides upon purchasing. If you don’t know what your brake check procedure is get with your safety team and management to figure out what the brake check procedure is. Surface mining you should stay 200’ from the traffic in front of you and underground it is 40’ and radio contact.
If the roads aren’t the best then you should slow down and give more space between you and the piece of equipment in front of you. Also take in consideration the load you might be hauling and the conditions of the road you are traveling.
Remember that it’s not just your life behind the wheel!
- A.J. Balderrama, Hard Rock Miner