In 2013, 37 percent of all aggregates injuries were associated with materials handling — lifting, pulling, pushing, or shoveling stone, sand, or gravel.
Could these accidents occur at your facility?
- A miner was using a flat hoe to clear material from a chute when a stone fell and struck him in the tooth.
- A miner was installing a chute on a crusher and the chute swung back and hit his left hand, resulting in a broken bone.
- A miner lifted a tank and strained his back.
Miners need to be provided training regarding handling items that are stored or moved manually or mechanically. Otherwise injuries, such as strains, fractures, hernias, and amputations, may result. Miners are subjected to the hazards of handling heavy and bulky materials, falling or improperly stacked objects, and repetitive bending, twisting, and turning movements.
Always wear personal protection equipment (PPE) and, for lifting, attach handles or holders to loads, or seek help. Personal protection can prevent workplace-specific injuries. Work gloves, safety boots, safety glasses or goggles, or metatarsal guards may be needed in your workplace.
Mechanical lifting also poses hazards. Miners operating such equipment need to know the limit, and this load capacity must be displayed on all lifting equipment. Ergonomics – modifying the workplace to fit the needs of the user – must be implemented in order to avoid back injuries. Reducing the size and weight of lifted objects, using a lifting aid, changing the height, or using a shelf may be necessary to avoid injuries.