Mining is known to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Reported disasters since the early 1900s have resulted to many lives lost. In 2009, several fatalities were reported in China during the Heilongjiang mining explosion. Major disasters in this industry can result to more than a thousand of lives lost each year.

There are several possible causes of fatalities and accidents in mining sites, not only limited to fires and explosions. Poor ventilation is one of the main concerns. In this line of work, miners are exposed to various gases, substances, and chemicals that may be harmful to them. Without proper ventilation, miners can face illnesses, health risks, and injury. Harmful gases can poison workers and limit oxygen supply within and around the site, causing asphyxiation. Exposure to certain gases can also cause long-term physical injury and illness. Explosions can also happen when there is no proper ventilation. Methane gas builds up without the right ventilation. Each equipment must be closely monitored for possible explosion triggers, which can cause great disaster. That is why sufficient ventilation is crucial in mining, as this will prevent explosions and health risks derived from harmful gases.

Another common cause of mining accidents is caving in of the walls and ceilings of underground mineshafts. Either the walls or ceilings were not properly secured or the mineshafts were deeply excavated, thus weakening the walls and ceilings. The expertise of mining companies and the use of advanced technology and methods can reduce the possibility of cave-ins.

It is, thereby, crucial to be able to provide efficient and safe working conditions for miners and people in the local community. The Mining Safety and Health Administration inspects mining sites for possible pitfalls and potential disasters. Legislation is also in place to improve mining sites and safe to make way for a proper mining site. Any chemical leakage and improper waste management can cause harm to surrounding areas and local communities.

To answer such an alarming issue, government has put in placty precautions.

There has also been great concern regarding the environmental impact of mining, not just during the mining itself but its long-term impact on the environment even after mining has been completed and the site has been closed. Mining processes and chemicals can contaminate groundwater, surface water, and soil. Other environmental issues include erosion, loss of biodiversity, imbalanced ecosystem, formation of sinkholes, and coal fires, which all contribute to environmental degradation. Even some mining companies chopped down surrounding treese legislation and regulation to require mining companies to do proper environmental impact assessment and management. This will reduce damage and enforce environmental and social responsibility. The Global Mining Initiative and the International Council on Mining and Metals were also formed to improve performance of mining activities and address the growing concern for the environment.

Mining companies and their workers, whether big or small, must be equipped, knowledgeable, and skilled enough to practice proper safety precautions with minimal environmental impact as possible.

To know more about safety and environmental standards, read articles in the mining journal here in this site or visit

Author's Bio: 

Howard Smith is a corporate consultant, focusing on business development and risk management. He likes to share his knowledge about various industries and write about corporate solutions, sustainability, and management. If you’re interested, visit for mining info.