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One danger that miners in Tennessee face on a daily basis is that of fires. Fires can prove fatal, especially in areas with few evacuation routes and poor ventilation. This is why mine owners must make ventilation and atmospheric monitoring two of their top safety priorities. New technology may greatly help in any efforts to improve safety.

For example, ventilation on demand can send clean air precisely to those areas where machinery and workers are present. It can do this with the help of sensors installed in each area. Monitoring can be made easy with certain devices from Carroll Technologies. One device can monitor conveyor belts for the generation of dust and measure the risk not only for fires but also for equipment breakdowns and worker falls.

That’s not all, though. Tunnel operators must ensure that all equipment in the mine comes with the right fire suppression systems. The equipment must also meet the standards set by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Employees must receive the proper personal protective equipment as well, especially breathing apparatuses. In case of fires, they should carry fire-fighting packs and handheld gas detection units.

Training is essential, too. It must, among other things, cover the correct use of PPE and inform workers as to the safest escape routes.

Miners run a high risk for injury and may even develop respiratory conditions as a result of breathing in dust or the toxic gases produced by equipment. Whatever the severity of their injury, though, they can be eligible for benefits under workers’ compensation law. These benefits include wage replacement and reimbursement for all medical expenses, including the cost of treatments, prescriptions and travel to and from the hospital. Employers can deny benefits, though, which is one reason why victims could consider legal representation.

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