New ISO standard aims to reduce mining accidents

Mining qLight at the end of the tunnel. (Image source: ISO)With an aim to understand the precise factor of mining accident and to take preventive measures, ISO technical committee on mining (ISO/TC 82) has developed new ISO 19434 that gives each accident a code to classify them by type and by cause and consequences

Although mining has been made safer in past few years, still mines are one of the most hazardous places to work. The causes of accidents can be numerous, including explosive dust and toxic gases to collapse of mine shafts, creating severe consequences, with thousands of fatalities each year.

As many factors are at play during a mine accident, it can be hard to understand precisely the cause of it. This is the reason why ISO has developed this new standard to give each accident a code to indicate the cause, whether human or mechanica, and the consequences.

Speaking about the ISO standard, Seyed Reza Hosseini, convenor of the working group on classification of mine accidents (WG 6), explained that the standard represents a new direction for their work.

The mining industry is working to improve the safety of its operations. Therefore, ISO 19434 is expected to provide advantages to understand the main types of accidents, he said.

Using the classification given in ISO 19434, one can identify whether accidents have occurred due to human error or other causes. It also provides a shared understanding on important issues.

Hosseini pointed out, “This international standard defines not only the main types of accidents but, importantly, provides information about the nature of any injuries that have occurred, defining their location and to what degree personnel are affected.”

The ISO 19434 addresses a long-standing need for a comprehensive mine accidents classification system that could present a standard scheme for all factors associated with the accidents. According to the industry experts, with this international standard, the working conditions are expected to improve across all operations in the mining sector.

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