Monthly Archives: December 2017

What’s it like working in a Coal Mine

Amit Kuma – Quora – says:

“I am an Undergraduate student of Mining Engineering and I can tell for sure that most of the people have this misconception that Coal mines are always underground and it looks something like:

or this

But truth is that with the advancement of technology, machinery and rock mechanics, nowadays, Coal mines are mostly Open -Pit Type (Surface mines). But Underground coal mines also exist in large numbers but due to heavy mechanisation, the method of working and working conditions have changed extremely.

An surface coal mine:

Underground mines too now have heavy mechanization, good working conditions like safety, temperature, ventilation etc.

“Many people ask if I have to crawl around all day long – nope! I drive an F-150 underground. Speed limit is 25, but I’ve never gotten pulled over down there (all the trucks have governor chips set to 25). Some mines in the Appa-latch-in Mountains are only 4 ft. high, but I’ve never worked there. The walls are white with “rock dust”, this prevents coal dust from being breathed in and coal dust is also combustable – you don’t want it floating around.”

– A miner from a well mecanised mine.

So, the conclusion is that in new and modernized mines the working conditions are upto mark. Even if the work is somewhat dangerous and boring but it is doable.

But still their exist some old mines where you’ll find that it is very hard to work for the miners as well as the engineers and geologists etc. In these mines, every thing is handled by human labour hence making it more difficult.

“The actual working area is like a crawl space in a house. The average height is about 40 inches. So you’re going to crawl.

When you’re bent, you can’t use your legs as much. You have to rely on your arms and back. To pick up 25 pounds standing upright is easy for most people. When you’re bent over on your knees, it becomes much harder.

The average coal miner works 60 hours a week. That’s standard. Most coal miners work 10-hour shifts, 6 days a week.

Everything is intensified in the mines. You’re in a foreign atmosphere. Deep underground the air is different. The oxygen goes down. The temperature on average is in the 50s, but you still sweat an enormous amount when you start laboring.“ – Alan Bates, working in the coal mines of Letcher County, Kentucky.

But with more mechanisation we hope these mines will also improve in coming times.

And it also depends on the type of job. If you are miner, it’ll be pretty hard compared to an machine/haulage truck operator which in turn is inferior to the Engineers.

“Mining engineering pays at about the same level as chemical engineering, computer science, and petroleum engineering. I started at $70k and moved up from there. The hours are very long though – I start at 6AM and get off at 5PM.”

Some more technologies which makes working easier in mines are:

Remote controlled machines

No Pickaxes any more


Improved ventilation technique

But as it is said that:

And when will work in coal you hands will surely get dirty.

And moreover, the girls now a days, are taking up mining jobs. So, it will be more fun than ever. Just j0king ;)”

Hope you enjoyed the read! Chris

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Residents call for more dust control

USA – Residents in northwest Okotoks are fed up with the amount of dust and debris they find blowing into their yards and homes from the D’Arcy site on daily basis.

Residents of northwest Okotoks are unhappy with the amount of dust in their homes due to construction on the D'Arcy site.

Construction began on the D’Arcy Ranch lands in the spring, and the site has been a flurry of scraping and rough grading activity all summer. However, some living in nearby neighbourhoods are sounding off on the amount of dust they say the work has created.

Chris Large, who lives in the 100 block of Suntree, said he’s tired of having to use a power blower to remove dust from his front and back porches and vehicles every day. He’s calling on the Town to have more dust control measures implemented on the construction site.

“They’ve got probably a dozen scrapers and bulldozers there, and they’ve got one water truck,” said Large. “It would seem to me the developer’s got more responsibility to the community than having one water truck doing however many dozen acres of scraping they’re doing.”

He took his concerns public with a post on social media last week, which garnered support from some users and generated criticism from others.

Seeing comments from other residents with similar concerns told him the Town needs to take action, he said. Others who said it’s just part of development likely don’t live in the area and aren’t exposed to the issue, he said.

“It’s development, so I guess if they wanted to go 24/7 and have all their machinery running close to those houses that I should suck it up and live with it,” said Large. “You know what? Development or not, there should still be a responsibility and a social awareness that you could do development without impacting the neighbourhood.”

He said existing residents should not be inconvenienced just for the sake of building more homes and businesses.

Hazel Tulick, who lives in the villas behind No Frills, on Sandstone Court, said it’s been a long summer living with the dust and debris coming from D’Arcy.

The situation was compounded by a couple of dust storms, which carried even more dirt into their yards and home, she said. It was so bad at one point, she said drivers had to pull over due to a lack of visibility.

“It’s just inadequate dust control and dirt control,” said Tulick. “There’s dust in our yards, on our deck, in our houses. It’s in our plants, it’s in our curtain, it’s in our windows and window sills. It’s everywhere.”

She said some people in the neighbourhood have hired professional cleaners a few times over the summer to deal with the mess, but many have given up on staying on top of it.

Though there have been two water trucks on the site recently, she said it’s still not enough to keep up with the amount of dust in the air.

“I just plead with the Town to please do something about this, please do something about this,” said Tulick. “It’s so frustrating for us people, and I think the whole town is noticing it now, too. There’s so much dust in our town.”

Mitchell Kowalski, Okotoks engineer technologist, said the developers at D’Arcy are in compliance with the Town’s policies around dust control for construction sites.

“The contractor who’s been on the site there has taken the dust concern very seriously, and they have shut down on multiple days just due to high winds and the amount of dust it was creating,” said Kowalski.

Kowalski said the developer has employed sufficient dust control methods with its water trucks according to the Town’s specifications.

It’s normal to see dust in the air during construction, but the weather this summer has compounded the issue everywhere, he said.

“That’s probably one of the worsts things, is the weather,” said Kowalski. “All the construction sites I’ve been to in the town have been really dry. It’s hard keeping up.”

Source – Western Wheel

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.