Health hazards for miners in the sun

The Queensland Department of Mines and Energy has released a report outlining the hazards of UV exposure for miners.

Miners have been urged to more effectively manage the risks of working in the sun by the Queensland Department Mines and Energy.

The report, entitled Sunlight and other ultraviolet radiation risk management outlines the potential risks from heatstroke and UV exposure to miners in open cut mines, quarries and on exploration sites, as well as the potential danger from artificial UV sources such as welding.

It states that electric welding arcs can often overexpose works to UV radiation, and includes UV lasers and UV lamps used in determining mineral quality, as prospective hazards.

The report summarises the possible short and long term effect of UV damage to employees’ skin and eyes such as cancer and potential blindness.

The Department’s report identifies mining activities that are at a high risk of UV exposure, such as exploration and drilling, and also methods to identify and control the risks of occupational UV exposure.

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