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The importance of education in mining safety

A mining machine, excavator

With any new piece of mining equipment, a mine operator may have invested in the best of the best, but if it is not used optimally then its productivity value significantly decreases. This is especially true for mining safety, where incorrectly used equipment can result in serious injuries or fatalities. According to the NIOSH, some of the most common causes of injuries for workers in both underground mines and surface mines include falls/slips, rockfall, powered haulage, collisions with machinery, explosions, and electrical damage.

Education in mining safety at US institutions

 The National Mining Association has compiled a list of institutions across the US that are dedicated to promoting education in mining. These include courses that are specifically designed for students interesting in mining safety, such as The Energy, Mining and Construction Industry Safety Program at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), and Western Mining Safety and Health Training at the University of Arizona.

In addition to the University of Arizona and Colorado School of Mines, other institutions focused on mining and mining engineering include Michigan Tech, Montana Tech School of Mining and Engineering, the Mackay School of Mines, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, University of Utah Department of Mining Engineering, and Virginia Tech Department of Mining and Minerals.

Training for mining equipment and hazard awareness

From fall protection to gas protection, to collision avoidance systems and underground mining phones, solutions are being continuously improved to keep mines as safe as possible, but miners need to be educated on how to use them correctly. In the US, it is required by federal law that all miners receive basic and annual refresher training, and mine operators must have an effective education plan in place.

Section 48 of the federal code lays out the mandatory requirements for submitting and obtaining approval of programs for training and retraining miners working in underground mines (including minimum training hours for equipment such as self-rescue respiratory devices, mining transportation, and education about emergency evacuation). This includes training experienced mine workers, workers with no previous experience in a particular area, annual refresher courses, and hazard training. These training plans must be approved by the MSHA.

MSHA-approving education in mining safety ensures that workers are properly informed on how to use equipment, as well as the correct safety and evacuation procedures. As a supplier of safety equipment and experts in mine safety, Carroll Technologies provides MSHA-approved training for all of the major products in its portfolio. Additionally, miners are introduced to safe work practices and precautionary techniques based on materials and guidance from MSHA.



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MSHA-certified mining equipment and training

MSHA certified mine safety equipment

The MSHA Approval and Certification Center (A&CC) tests and certifies mining products, providing operators with confidence in equipment, instruments, and materials by ensuring compliance with Federal regulations. This testing and certification makes MSHA-certified mining equipment incredibly valuable for modern mining operations.

Through Carroll Technologies, customers can be supplied with a wide range of MSHA-certified machinery and safety solutions such as Northern Light Technologies (NLT) cap lights, MSA multigas detection, MPS hard hats, and Miner and Equipment Tracking Systems (METS) from Matrix Design Group.

MSHA Accident Prevention

As part of its ongoing dedication to preventing accidents involving machinery and equipment, MSHA standards require operators to maintain control of moving MSHA mobile equipment by enforcing speeds restrictions that are consistent with the conditions at a mining site. When mobile equipment is not in motion, it is essential that it is stored in a safe location that prevents it from moving and becoming a hazard.

MSHA Powered Haulage Safety Initiative

Powered haulage equipment such as shuttle cars, locomotives and front end loaders are one of the leading causes of injuries for surface miners. In response, MSHA has provided safety guidance and collision avoidance rules to help keep mine workers safe. This includes traffic controls, training, and avoiding distractions, as well as collision warning and avoidance systems for mobile equipment. The organisation also provides guidance for safety issues such as seatbelt usage and conveyor belts.

MSHA Safety Training

In addition to MSHA accident prevention solutions, it is required by federal law that mineworkers receive adequate safety training and annual refresher courses from the administration.

It is not enough for mine operators to secure the best products; operational staff must be kept up to date on proper operational techniques and regulatory requirements. Carroll Technologies Group provides a full suite of technical mining training courses, including comprehensive training courses for all of the major products in its portfolio. Staff are introduced to safe work practices and precautionary techniques with materials and guidance provided by MSHA itself.


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Miner cap lights provide underground workers with hands-free, efficient lighting solutions

Miner wearing hard hat fitted with cap light

Strapped on to the top of a helmet, these portable light sources allow miners to experience hands-free illumination of their surroundings and use a simple turn of their head to light up even the darkest corners of the mine.

Miner cap lights eliminate the need to carry a cumbersome torch and reduce the need for expensive fixed lighting solutions. Cap lights also provide the added bonus of ensuring the wearer’s head is protected from any low-hanging tunnel ceilings or falling debris, as they will not be able to utilize the cap light without their helmet being properly secured.

A miner’s cap light is an essential piece of their everyday arsenal which will be supplied by all responsible mine operators. Miner cap lights can be purchased through Carroll Technologies Group, a leading supplier of mine safety solutions operating across North America.

Carroll Technologies Group have provided supplies to over 800 operations across the continent. Carroll’s customers can rely on the company to provide them with MSHA-approved products, with a 90 day warranty as standard.

They can also rely on Carroll Technologies Group’s MinerCare 24/7 team, who are always just a phone call away for any technical support needs they may have. Carroll Technologies Group is also an authorized service center for complete repair and service after the sale of a product.

Which miner cap lights are available through Carroll Technologies Group?

Carroll offers two miner cap lights from Northern Lights Technologies, both of which are cordless, all-in-one pieces of equipment.

The Polaris NLA0M1 comes with a fixed clip, while the Polaris NLA0M3 supports an adjustable clip.

The cap lights use a high-capacity lithium ion battery with a 12-40 hour operational time to power an LED light. When the battery runs out, it can be easily recharged in just ten hours.

This promotes comfort and ease of use as the wearer can recharge their cap light at the end of a shift instead of carrying around an external battery pack.

The lights of the NLA0M1 and NLA0M3 are housed in plastic casings built to resist dust, water and debris. They offer a minimum illuminance of 5,000 LUX, with typical brightness clocking in at 6,500 LUX – brighter than many existing cap lamps available on the market.

The lights also offer the option to enable a flashing beacon mode. In the event of an emergency, the wearer can trigger this setting and alert their colleagues to any potential danger they may face.