The state of New York contains numerous mines, and their resources result in major contributions to the economy. Mining has always been known to be a dangerous occupation, and proper safety procedures and regulations need to be followed in order to minimize workers’ compensation claims.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, there are working mines in every county in the state except for five of them. Value wise, the top mineral commodities that are produced include crushed stone, limestone, construction gravel and sand, salt and zinc. Other valuable reserves include wollastonite, garnet and talc. Products that are made up of these minerals include:
- Blacktop and roadfill
- Ceramics and glass
- Paint pigment
- Industrial abrasives
In order to keep workers safe from the dangers that accompany mining, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health provides resources for education and training. Mine operators are required by the federal government to offer safety training to all new mine workers and an annual refresher course for current employees. NIOSH continues to research new topics and develop training materials related to their findings. Some of the general topics they have training on include technologies, methods, techniques and materials. Specific topics have included computer-based mine map reading, aging workforce needs and coaching skills for current mine workers.
Researchers also work with health and safety professionals to develop new technologies and evaluate current training methods for effectiveness. Along with focusing on general safety topics, employers are trained on how to deal with emergency situations such as mine explosions and collapse.