3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Heavy Metal Mining Dusts
The mining industry is one of (if not the most) dangerous job professions in the world. The everyday workplace -whether as a miner, operator, manager, etc - presents an array of potentially fatal health and safety hazards, like exposure to heavy metal dust.
Exposure to this mining element is a lose-lose situation. The toxicity in heavy metal dust not only causes a slew of health problems (mental confusion, muscle and joint pain, short-term memory loss, neurological impairment, chronic fatigue, kidney failure) but the effects are permanent.
To combat these hazards, we’ve compiled a list of 3 ways miners can protect themselves from heavy metal mining dust.
The first step in protecting yourself is wearing protective gear. Things like respirators, eyewear, aprons and gloves should be worn at all times during interaction with these toxic elements.
Maintaining a consistent and thorough hygiene is important not just in life, but in preventing exposure to hazardous material as well.
In case of accidental exposure, applying a skin and hand care regimen can help in preventing further contact, according to DebGroup.com.
“A three-step skin care program should be implemented, starting with the application of an effective before-work cream. Some of these help as a preventive measure against irritants, while others are designed to help combat the effects of maceration due to sweating — for example, under gloves. This program should continue with the application of a skin-compatible cleanser and conclude with the application of an after-work moisturizing cream, which should be used to replenish lost oils and lipids in the skin. In addition, all products in the three-step program should be specific to the substances being handled.”
To better protect yourself, make sure you know what substances you’re working with. Taking the time to learn and understand the chemicals you're using will only further assist in preventing injuries. Don't forget: reading the material safety data sheet will only ehance your chances of staying safe.
Like the old saying goes, knowledge is power.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”