Lucky we closed them all down then, eh?

Mining is one of the most hazardous jobs. There are few reliable figures but unions estimate that around 10 million people dig for a living and 12,000 may die every year from roof falls, explosions, fires, flooding and other underground and surface accidents.

There is even less reliable data on the injuries incurred by miners but tens of thousands of people have their health damaged every year from conditions such as pneumoconiosis, hearing loss and the effects of vibration, says the Geneva-based global union IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining and energy sectors.

It is indeed a dangerous, dirty, horrible job. But it’s odd to see The Guardian stating this obvious truth when they keep complaining about how horrible we were to close them all down.

And I get even angrier at the idiot Americans who protest against “mountain top removal” mining. The whole point of which is to convert what would be an underground and therefore tertribly dangerous mine into a open cast and therefore safe one.

8 comments on “Lucky we closed them all down then, eh?

  1. In Australia, where safety standards are arguably the highest in world, open cut mining is as hazardous as u/g mining. Open cuts are not immune from flammable and toxic gases, high wall failures can lead to multiple fatalities and using a pick-up to argue with a large dump truck usually only has one outcome. On top of which, blue sky mining is not proper mining.

    We know how to mine coal underground without killing and seriously hurting people, we do it day in, day out. The Turkish PM was a joke in citing major accidents from before we knew how to design pillars or that coal dust, not methane, causes the destructive blast. If you kill that many people it is because you have no standards and you ignore best practice.

    I’ve got more chance having an accident driving to or from an Australian u/g coal mine than when u/g.

  2. DocBud

    In Australia, where safety standards are arguably the highest in world, open cut mining is as hazardous as u/g mining.

    I am actually quite surprised this is true. Although there may be lung-related problems that do not appear until later in life. I was so surprised, I have just checked, and I am somewhat further surprised by this link:

    http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/statistics/work-related-fatalities/pages/worker-fatalities

    Arts & recreation services 10 3 3
    Miningb 10 3 7

    Arts and recreation services are about as dangerous as mining in Australia? Well blow me down with a feather duster. Who knew stripping was so dangerous?

  3. Agree with DocBud “In Australia, where safety standards are arguably the highest in world”.

    I’m a geo, not a miner, but in my area (exploration), this is true. The elfinsafety and environmental protection regs are rigorously enforced and strictly policed. Company policy is usually “one fuckup and you’re on the next plane out”. Don’t pass GO, and the unions won’t be on your side.

  4. It also shows how insane it is to oppose shale gas extraction. Safer to get out, lower CO2 emissions, lower particulates (or is it fewer?).
    The casualties of Chernobyl are dwarfed every year by coal mining accidents. Those who care should argue for nuclear and natural gas for electricity production.

  5. JimW – no no you dont’t understand! Those who really care argue for return to the fucking stone age.

    And are prepared to suffer any number of trips by private jet to conferences in 5 star hotels to tell us so.

  6. Bloke in Italy is correct. The idiot American protestors are misanthropes. They are against any mining. Mountain top removal is just a visible target.

  7. If you want to hear heads explode, ask environmentalists if Mrs T was right to close down all those UK coal mines in the 80s.

  8. I remember some dim Taff complaining that (i) the mines had closed, and (ii) mining had torn the heart out of his valley.

    So he objected both to mining being an extractive industry, and to its cessation.

    It’s years since I saw the figures, but my memory is that British coal-mining was safer than deep sea fishing, and quarrying. It was comparable (less sure of this) to construction.

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