Mining is a risk that you need to be prepared for

If you work in a mine, it's wise to learn about mine collapses so that you can recognize when the conditions are right for a collapse to occur. Mining is a risky practice, but with the right tools and structures in place, it's safer for miners to be in the mine shafts.

One issue that shook a mine in Utah was a seismic event registering at a 3.9 magnitude. The real shock was that this wasn't an earthquake, it was the impact from a mine collapse. At that time, miners in the shaft were using the room-and-pillar method, but when one gave out, the soil above collapsed.

The interesting thing about this collapse is that the miners were trapped despite the roof of soil shifting only around a foot downward. The pillars, which were no longer supporting the roof, actually collapsed and expanded outward, crumbling to fill the cavernous space.

This incident happened years ago, but the reality is that mining accidents can happen at any time. To stay safer, there are a few things that miners need to do. One is to wear appropriate head gear, such as a hardhat. The mining operation needs to follow the Mine Act, which governs mining activities.

Employers must make sure there is appropriate ventilation and support for the walls and roofing of the mine. Explosions are a risk to miners, but by reducing methane emissions, the risk is reduced significantly.

These are a few things to know about mining incidents. If you're hurt, workers' compensation should be there for you to make a claim.

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