The mining industry faces a high risk for fires every day, so mine owners in California need to make sure they are doing all they can to keep workers safe. It starts with proper ventilation and atmospheric monitoring, and fortunately, new technology can help in the efforts.

For example, ventilation on demand, rather than sending clean air to unoccupied areas of the mine, will ventilate those places where sensors detect machinery and people to be present. Heavy machinery inevitably produces dust and potentially toxic fumes, so this is essential.

When it comes to monitoring, employers could turn to certain devices offered by Carroll Technologies, the nationally recognized maker of mining safety equipment. Its PBE Belt Boss series of monitors can check conveyor belts for the generation of dust as well as measure the risk for fires, equipment breakdowns and worker falls. Employees must be able to detect harmful gases, too, which is why one crucial piece of personal protective equipment is a gas detection unit.

This ties into another great need in the mining industry: adequate training. Sometimes, workers are not trained on the efficient use of their PPE, such as their breathing apparatuses and fire-fighting packs. They may not even be told what are the best evacuation routes to use in case of a fire.

Insufficient training is behind a great many mining accidents and injuries. The fortunate thing is that injured employees are covered for their losses under workers’ compensation law. Workers’ comp benefits can reimburse victims for all medical expenses, a portion of lost wages and even disability leave. Other benefits may be added if the disability is permanent or leaves one with a diminished capacity to earn a living. Victims may want a lawyer to ensure that the filing process goes smoothly.