Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Occupational Health in large Opencast mines & Preventive Measures. By Sri GS Khuntia Former Director, NMDC Executive Director (Operation) SAIL Former Mining Advisor,ESSAR /MSL Currently Director, OMC Ltd & VP,MDC on SHE.
— Presence of high concentration of dust in the work place, exposure to noxious gases, fumes and hot humid work environment in underground mines, noise and vibration, poor illumination, ergonomically different abnormal positions during work, working in confined space etc. are the causes of various short-term and long -term health hazards in mines.— What is Occupational Health Hazard?
— The factors that affect the health of the miners while working in the underground mines, surface mines and quarries are called health hazards.
- G. S. Khuntia
— Dust is the major hazard in any type of mining operation. Fine dust particles of size range 0.5 micron to 5 micron are injurious to the health of the miners. These dust particles are inhaled through the nose, pass through the respiratory tract (breathing passage) and get deposited in the lungs in the chest cavity.
— An occupational disease, ‘Pneumoconiosis” is caused due to coal dust. Depending on the nature and composition of dust, the pneumoconiosis may be named as Silicosis (silica), Siderosis (iron) Asbestosis (asbestos fibber), Anthracosis (coal), Anthraco-silicosis (silica-mixed coal), Baritosis (barium), Stanosis (tin) etc.
— Monitoring the dust at the work environment and maintaining a health record of all miners working in dusty areas is useful.
— Hearing defects may be causes due to exposure to excess noise (above 90dB) during work in the long run.
— The disease is called Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) which does not affect the normal speech range initially. It affects the high frequency (above 4000 Hertz) at first and shifts to the speech frequency gradually.
— The person gradually becomes deaf; irritable, talks in a loud voice, develop sleeplessness and high blood pressure.
— The hearing impairment can be detected early by audiometric test.
— Hearing conservation program should be adopted in every mine in noisy areas to reduce noise hazard.
— This program consists of noise measurement at the work place, control of noise level in the source, on the pathway and at the miner’s ear level, use of ear protection (ear plugs and ear muff), periodic ear examination and audiometer, educating employees about noise hazard and job rotation to minimise exposure.
— A record should be maintained in for every miner for future health assessment.
— Poor illumination produces eyestrain and abnormal movement of the eyeball (nystagmus) among the mines, sometimes poor illumination causes accidents.
— Therefore, it is necessary to keep the work area well lighted without shadows or glare. The miners should also wear goggles to protect their eyes.
— Lighting standards at various work places are specified by DGMS, Dhanbad.
Ergonomic Hazards(Equation of Man & Machine-due to pose,posture while working )
Hot humid work environment and mechanical problems during work lead to health impairment.
— Most of the mines in our country uses various equipment, which are not designed for Indian workers. As a result, most of the miners, who have poor health condition, suffer from fatigue, back pain, and joint pain and work stress.
— In addition to this, poor illumination, lack of ventilation. Hot and humid work environment and mechanical problems during work lead to health impairment.
— To prevent this, proper workstation design, selection of health workers to operate heavy equipment, rest pause and periodic medical examination to assess fitness for the job are some of the important steps to reduce this hazard.
— Both in underground and surface mines, dust nuisance is a problem for the community residing nearby.
— To reduce the environmental degradation and to maintain the ecological balance, reducing dust generation and proper disposal of the overburden should control air pollution.
— Tree plantation at the mining area is another step to reduce air pollution.
— Suspended particulate matter (SPM), smoke, fumes and other chemical pollutants should not be discharged to the atmosphere mercilessly.
— Air pollution causes irritation to the respiratory systems of the people staying nearby. Many people, particularly the children suffer from allergy, asthma, respiratory infection and bronchitis.
— Engineering control measures should be adopted at the work place and environment to reduce generation of dust, suppression of dust, proper maintenance of equipment and adopting environmental hygiene measures.
— Medical control measures are directed towards the miners with a view to protect their health. The medical center (OHS) should undertake the following need based functions.
Pre-employment health examination of all miners.
Emergency medical cares.
Health Education & Training.
Computerised health information system.
Medical and occupation health facilities are meager in most of the mines and even nonexistent in a few.
SAIL had established Occupational Health Service centers in all its manufacturing units including captive mines to promote and maintain the physical, mental and social well being of all the employees.
— Occupational Health Service at the unit level is functioning under Medical Department.
— Occupational Health Service in all units had been equipped to detect and prevent occupational/work-related diseases and to offer effective emergency and injury care at work.
— Occupational Health Service at unit level has employed any of or all the specialties of occupational medicine, occupational hygiene, occupational physiology and ergonomics, occupational psychology, occupational health nursing, health education, biochemistry and toxicology, health information system, epidemiology and research depending on the needs of the unit in which they are housed, as approved by the management.
— The Occupational Health Service is headed by the Occupational Physician who is totally responsible for organising various functions and comprehensive occupational health programmes as decided from time to time.
— Occupational Health Service Centers have sufficient and adequate facilities (by way of qualified specialists, equipment, reference books and journals, etc.) to perform there above functions effectively.
— OHS had arranged to provide adequate number of First Aid Boxes with approved contents on the shop floor and in the captive mines. These boxes shall be maintained and kept under the charge of trained and competent first-aiders. OHS staff regularly from time to time shall carry out inspection of such boxes.
— Occupational Health Service has developed health education training packages including use of personal protective equipment for all employees and impact training accordingly.
— OHS Centers had played a vital role in suitably redeploying or rehabilitating an employee, if it is found that he she is incapacitated due to an accidental injury, occupational disease or otherwise.
— OHS Center had taken special care of women employees working in hazardous areas or handling toxic substance, which may cause danger or interfere with pregnancy/childbearing/reproductive system.
— The Occupational Physician advises on suitability of the various personal Protective equipment. While recommending, he considers all factors relating to health, anthropometric measurements, comfort and other ergonomic aspects of relevance.
— All OHS units of SAIL also caters to the emergency medical care as outlined in the disaster management plan. It is well equipped with medicines, dressings, injections and such other medical equipment’s to meet the emergency.
— Key personnel with assigned specific functions are identified and a chart indicating this to be displayed prominently. The OHS staff also participates in mock-drills organised for the purpose.
— The Occupational Physician is a member of Medical Board and Safety & Health oriented Committees.
— 5 OHS centers established with industrial doctors and staffs at an investment of Rs. 1.50 crore each in 1992 at Iron ore Mines at Barsua, Kiriburu, Chasnalla, Kuteshwar & Rajhara iron ore mines.
— Employee welfare programme, periodic health check-up of employees beyond 45 years age level at plants & mines are done.
— a) In a year about 20% of employees are medically examined b) Computer records maintained for health records and analysis C) Health education & Counselling adequate no of employees done. D) BHP Kinhill joint venture training in Australia, 8 doctors trained in 1994 E) Occupational Physicians & professionals participated in various programmes.
OHS center in iron ore mines are operating satisfactorily with provisions of staffs and equipment’s with following functions.
a) Assessment of risk from health hazards at work place and surveillance of factors affecting workers health.
b) Workers education of sanitation, hygiene including training & retraining on first aid;
c) Diagnosis & treatment of occupational injuries including rehabilitation;
d) Compilation & Maintenance of health records & survey reports related to dust, noise, temperature etc. e) Identification of the need of protective equipment’s & evaluation of their effectiveness.
Noise survey was conducted once a year in all Iron Ore Mines of SAIL for initiating corrective measures & each time draws up plan for job rotation, machine upkeep, employee rehabilitation, and the details are furnished in Annexure - 1
— The international noise level standards are shown below :
Status of Noise Pollution in SAIL Mines
A. Details showing Noise level in dBC (A) At different Machine Locations
Operation Mine A
Empty run 94-99 96.3
Loaded run 97-100 99.8
Near Operator -- --
3m away -- --
Near Operator 108-112 108.3
3m away 87-94 92.4
Primary 76-83 82.5
Secondary 86-88 87.3
Primary 95-97 96.2
Secondary 86-99 87.7
Spl - Mean Range, Leq- Level Equivalent
Studied at 0-25 db/25-40 db/40-55 dB/above 55 dB
C. Hearing Loss of Employees (Age -Wise)
Studied in age group basis (say-<30age/30-39/40-49/50-60age)
D. Hearing Loss of Employee (Service-Wise)
Done for years of service say-<10 years/10-19 years/20-29 years/>30 years
Country Maximum Permissible Remarks exposurelevel for 8 hours/day
USA 85 dB(A) Exposure to impact noise < 140 dB (A)
Australia 95 dB (A) Number of exposure to 115 dB (A) at any time
Canada 87-90 dB (A) For different noise level exposure time
specified 115 db (A) max. for
U.K 90 dB(A)
USSR 50 dB (A) Office
85 dB (A) Factories / Mines
India 90 dB () DGMS circular
No. 18 of 1975
A 3 years & 5 years OHS activities plan has been prepared Upto 2005/6 A.D
— Examination conducted in SAIL mines OHS :
Periodic medical Examination
Audiometry ( sound measurement)-ear testing
Periodical medical examination(PME) of employees working in mines of KIOM/MIOM
Immunisation against T .T Toxoid to all the workers.At the end of PME, each employee is given an immunisation cum health card where immunisation schedule, blood group name,ST No, Designation & any other personal significant disease record is maintained
Sound survey & dust survey are carried out
Health examination programme is carried
(2 ).Equipments provided-
Types of Examination 2005 2006 2007
medical examination 294 290 411
Audiometry 304 269 383
Spirometry 114 124 142
Immunisation 54 65 20
Health Education------ 57 65 67
First Aid 33 35 28
Formerly Executive Director, SAIL and Director in NMDC, Hyderabad, currently Director,OMC Ltd & IIMCS, born in Bhubaneswar.
Graduated in 'Mining Engineering' from 'Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad' in 1962 and obtained 'First Class Mines Manager Certificate.
Worked for 33 years in 'Managerial Capacities' in Mining Industry of India, (mines of OMC, NMDC, SAIL units at Rourkela,Bokaro,Bhilai,Durgapur SAIL corporate office )
Received a large number of National awards like NATIONAL MINERAL AWARDS from Ministry of Mines, Govt of India, National Design Award-2001 from Institution of Engineers (India), John Dunn Medal, Jawaharlal Award, Rungta Awards
Presented over 100 Technical Papers in various National and International Conferences including 'World Mining Congress' in DELHI (84) I, SWEDEN (87), CHINA (90), MARDID (92), AUSTRALIA (96) and DELHI (2003).
Visited widely mines in foreign countries (Sweden, Norway, Poland, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Hongkong, Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore & Australia). He has been Chairman of a large number of Professional bodies-Institution of Engineer, (India), Orissa State (2008-12)/ Current Council Member ,Past Council member of IEI/,Kolkatta Vice-President of Multi-disciplinary center for Presently committee member (Mining) of Institution of safety, health & environment, Bhubaneswar (a state govt. sponsored organisation), Editor in Chief of ‘Indian Mining & Engineering Journal, Consultant (mines & steel)
•Former Mining Advisor to ESSAR /Maharastra Seamless Ltd / Currently Director ,IIMCS /Director, OMC Ltd, Bhubaneswar.