Each year thousands of Australians are injured, or killed in the workplace. There are a variety of traumatic injuries that can occur in mining, the most common being to the hands and head. Heads are at risk of falling objects, while hands are often injured whilst using equipment. Many of the tools in use can be used improperly or may be faulty.
The most common causes of injuries are a lack of awareness, using tools incorrectly, using the wrong tool for the job, carelessness, a lack of regard for safety, fatigue, distractions, and a failure to complete a risk assessment before the start of work.
When it comes to hand injuries they can be difficult to repair and hands may not function as they did previously. Motion, grip, and dexterity can all be affected. Head injuries increase the risk of developing dementia, but may also have severe short-term effects, too.
To avoid injuries:
- Employees should be fully trained on how to operate all equipment relevant to their job.
- All hazards of the task should be known.
- Jewellery should not be worn, nor should loose clothing.
- The correct tools should be used at all time.
- Hands should be kept clear of moving machinery.
- Gloves should be worn.
- Safety should be the top priority and enforced regularly.
- Rigorous training should be given to all employees.
- Accidents should always be investigated and controls put in place to ensure there isn’t a repeat.
Have you had a traumatic injury at work? How did your employer deal with it?