Salt mining is considered the least dangerous form of mining, although potential hazards include mine collapse, noise exposure and air contamination. To help companies protect their workers and meet Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) standards, Carroll Technologies has provided personal protection equipment (PPE) and safety equipment to more than 800 mines across North America for more than 40 years.
Personal protection equipment for miners
PPE on offer from Carroll Technologies includes hard hats, face shields, atmosphere-monitoring equipment, breathing apparatus, gloves, ear protection and safety glasses from top manufacturers. Factory certified testing and repair ensures customers get the most out of their investment, and they can contact the MinerCare 24/7 team for technical support.
Carroll Technologies president Allen Haywood says: “We have been supplying MSHA-approved hard hats for mines for many years. Some have rims that go all the way around, some are equipped for cap lights to be attached to them, some have ear-muff hearing protection attached. We have hard hats for any application. We can also have hard hats custom-made in any color or with company logos.”
The company supplies these products, among others:
- MPS Centurion Vision hard hat
- MPS Centurion Spectrum hard hat
- NLT Hard Hat
- MSA 475369-B V-Guard Hard Hat
- MSA 475336 Comfo Cap Hard Hat
- MSA 15244 Light Bracket Kit for MSA Lights
- MSA 10061271 HPE Headband Earmuff
Well-designed, high-quality boots will keep workers’ feet dry and comfortable, and safe from injury. Oliver Boots offer comfort, high performance and durability. Its range extends across zip-sided, ankle height, penetration protection, waterproof and gumboot varieties, with features such as steel toe caps and soles. Products include:
- Boot, 16in muck, steel toe
- Boot, muck, arctic pro steel
- Boot, arctic pro
- Boot, 16in muck, steel toe
- Boot, chore classic black mid
Atmospheric monitoring devices
Miners can protect themselves with hand-held and fixed atmospheric monitoring devices, including multi-gas detectors, anemometers and diesel particulate monitors (DPMs), all supplied by Carroll Technologies. Anemometers are small, portable devices that use wind velocity to measure the volume of air entering and exiting a mine shaft, ensuring there is enough airflow to prevent the accumulation of dangerous gases.
The Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) Altair 4X Detector can be carried by miners and alerts them to the presence of combustibles, toxins and anaerobic environments within 15 seconds of detection. The detector activates an alert when no movement is detected from an active user for 30 seconds or longer, should they be injured or unconscious. The alarm warns others of hazards in the near vicinity.
Superior Technologies provides the ST-1000 Vane Anemometer, a portable model ideal for monitoring air quality between mining sites.
Having a fall prevention plan in place and high-quality equipment is the best way to avoid accidents. A safety harness and lanyard should be assigned to any miner working at height. The MSHA recommends physical barriers around floor openings and visible signage where fall-protection equipment is required.
Carroll supplies a broad range of industry leading equipment from trusted manufacturers such as MSA and Honeywell Safety, including harnesses, hooks and shock-absorbing lanyards, high-quality ropes and hoists.
Products include: MSA retractable lanyards, MSA vest-style harnesses, MSA full-body harnesses, MSA lanyard restraints, MSA trauma prevention, MSA lanyards with hooks, Honeywell Miller AirCore harnesses and the Honeywell personal fall limiter.
Emergency response equipment
Self-contained self-rescuers (SCSR) are portable devices that provide miners with breathable air if the atmosphere lacks oxygen or becomes contaminated.
The Miners Self-Rescuers range includes the W65 Self-Rescuer Respirator, an air-purifying oxygen mask, designed to protect against carbon monoxide and other toxic gases. It is strapped to the head, allowing hands-free operation, and can provide the wearer with clean air for up to four hours.
Ocenco produces the EBA 6.5 closed-circuit apparatus, which uses compressed oxygen and provides up to eight hours of respiratory protection. Another Ocenco SCSR is the M-20, a belt-borne device, which is particularly useful in confined spaces. At just over 6in square and 3in thick, it is the world’s smallest SCSR and uses compressed oxygen to provide respiratory protection for up to 32 minutes. Both units can be upgraded and maintained for up to 15 years.
Efficient lighting is vital for worker safety. According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, released in 2022, about three million American workers are injured at work each year, with inadequate lighting being a key factor in the most common accidents.
Northern Light Technologies’ Polaris cap lamp (NL0329) is an award-winning headpiece that comes with an adjustable or fixed clip. It is the first MSHA-approved all-in-one cordless mining-cap lamp. It meets IECEx, M1 and US standards, as well as being verified by ATEX and Testsafe. The lamp uses a high-capacity lithium battery and LED light encased in a high-impact dust and water-resistant plastic case. A flashing beacon mode can be engaged in an emergency.
Illumagear’s Halo cap light is a cordless, 360° light that can be attached to any standard hard hat. It creates clear visibility for the wearer and coworkers by producing a full ring of light up to a quarter of a mile around it. It is also water-resistant for half an hour.
Carroll Technologies also sells the Rebel and Genesis series, the latter of which incorporates a tracking tag to locate personnel.
Improving mining communications
Carroll Technologies partners several manufacturers to provide underground communication solutions, including Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and leaky feeder radio systems. DAS can help connect dead zones and provide life-saving communications for those working in hazardous conditions. Strategically placed antennas, coax and splitters provide radio frequency coverage.
Pyott Boone (PBE) provides a wide range of leaky feeder systems, from conventional systems to a permanent radiating cable network or hybrid networks, as well as cable installation, radios and atmospheric monitoring devices. The PBE Page BossTM mine page phone series is one of the most reliable and advanced available.
Other mining equipment
Carroll Technologies provides Simplified Mining Instruments’ (SMI) ground-monitoring systems, which allow operators to analyse rock stability, make critical decisions and prevent roof collapses. They come in standard packages, which can be customised for different projects.
The Miner’s Helper Extensometer measures roof sag using a reflectorised rod that is activated when a user-defined amount of movement has occurred. Similarly, Sag Flag provides a continuous visual indication of movement as part of an early warning system and ground control management.
The Miner’s Helper Remote Readable Roof Monitor is used to measure rock strata separations or roof sag, while the Miner’s Eye Bore scope camera is used for visual inspections of boreholes, and to assess the competency of roof geology and pillars. Geologists say it is like looking at core samples without the hassle of core retrieval.
Frequently asked questions
What are the specific hazards in salt mining and how can they be mitigated?
Common hazards include noise, air contamination and problems from inhaling salt dust. To mitigate these hazards, workers should be provided with PPE such as gloves, face masks and eye protection, as well as respiratory devices where appropriate.
Which helmet lights should I choose for my workers to improve their safety?
Carroll Technologies president Allen Haywood says: “We’ve been supplying the NLT cap light for many years. It is the highest-quality cap light in comparison to others on the market. We are a service centre and stock repair parts for NLT products, so they are much better value for the customer in the long term.”
How can I track the positions of workers and equipment in a salt mine to protect both?
Carroll Technologies provides custom installation of collision avoidance systems, and offers factory-authorised repair and certification, as well as rapid response for mining emergencies, round-the-clock technical support, an extensive spare parts inventory and equipment training. The basis of most collision avoidance solutions is an effective tracking system, which can monitor the positions of workers and equipment to ensure they don’t come into contact. This can take the form of tags, worn by workers and attached to machinery, which send data to control centre operators.
Are there any regulations or guidelines for safety equipment in salt mines?
The MSHA enforces compliance with mandatory safety and health standards under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act).
How can I choose the right PPE for salt mining workers?
With more than 30 years’ experience of providing safety equipment to more than 800 mines across North America, Carroll Technologies has the experience and know-how to recommend the best solutions.
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