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Miners work around live wires, so it is important for them to stay safe when near electrical hazards. Proper grounding stops electricity from coursing through their body due to a wrong step or electrical currents going through the mine.
When working around electricity, minerals, and mining tunnels, electricity is critical, but so is taking special precautions, every miner should be thinking about grounding while they are working in mines. Grounding paths stop electricity from flowing through people’s bodies.
Grounding the electrical equipment in a mine is also critical. It is a regulation required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a safe work environment in areas where people work with electrical equipment, devices, or electrical wiring.
Here are several reasons why electrical safety in mining is essential.
The Line to Ground Fault
Since the 1970s, grounding systems have been installed throughout all mines to protect people from electrical shock and lightning. This type of problem used to occur when operating power equipment during inclement weather.
Today protection from electrical faults is an essential part of any mine’s safety, and it guards against electrical faults and workplace disasters. This grounding became a necessity when it was found that about 15% of all electrical fatalities occurred due to a lack of grounding.
The most common fault is the line to ground fault, which makes up for more than 90% of all failures and increases accidents and production and material costs.
Different System Grounding Methods
To ensure personal safety, all mines and manufacturing plants require proper grounding. The power systems may differ. However, there are four basic types of grounding methods: the underground, the solidly grounded, the low resistance, and the high-resistance grounded systems.
The solidly grounded method is a system that has no intentional or added circuit. Here overvoltage is managed by a grounding system that is connected to the earth. The system also has a circuit breaker and relays that detect ground faults.
Low Resistance Grounded is most appropriate for high voltage systems. These systems limit faulty currents between 100 to 1000 amps.
High Resistance Grounding is used in mills and plants so that a fault does not interrupt a critical work process. It controls overvoltage and ground currents through relay limitations and allows operators to fix the issue without cutting off an operation.
Expert mining equipment suppliers like Mantra Enterprise LLC suggest that all mining companies respect the importance of electrical safety. Fuses can protect from certain faults, but they only make up a small fraction of the types of faults that exist.
Mining enterprises need additional safety grounding installations to protect both machinery and people. Grounding systems also require frequent tests to ensure all systems work.
Keep everyone safe, although miners work with electricity. The familiarity they have with currents should not make them feel overly comfortable with electricity. Install proper grounding systems to keep all personnel safe from electrical hazards.