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Written by
on 21 September 2011

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Mining tragedy

Four miners working at the Gleision drift mine in Swansea sadly lost their lives on Thursday September 15 after the mine shaft flooded with water.  The Health and Safety Executive are currently investigating the scene trying to establish where the water came from and exactly what went wrong. Health and safety consultants and the miners themselves all know that mining is fraught with danger, but now calls for a complete water risk health and safety overhaul in this industry are coming in.

Although it would be impossible to make mining safe, no matter what the health and safety services and HSE are able to change, it is possible to minimise the water risks by changing the current assessments that are taking place in mines throughout the UK.  As Thursdays tragedy shows more needs to be done in order to protect the miners who risk their lives every time they enter the shafts.

A Full Report into the Incident is expected from the HSE

The Health and Safety Executive and the police are investigating fully and a full report is to be published. It is hoped that this report will identify areas of weakness where the changes can be made. This will be very much like a risk assessment that needs to be carried out in any workplace.  The job of the risk assessments is to identify any problem areas before were has even begun.  By identifying the issues in a risk assessment a plan can be created to overcome these problem areas safely and effectively.

Speaking about the incident at the Gleision mine Dr Wade from The Open University suggested that abandoned mines in the area where miners will be working need to be fully drained before work commences. It has been suggested that a water filled abandoned mine was the cause of the flood in Swansea which resulted in the loss of lives.

The Extensive Mine Shafts in the UK need to be Drained Close to Mines Still in Use

The four men, Garry Jenkins, David Powell, Phillip Hill and Charles Breslin were working along with three other miners when a retaining wall inside the shaft which was holding back the water gave way.  Mining goes back for centuries in the UK, there is a complete maze of abandoned mine shafts all of which will need reviewing if the Health and Safety Executive decide that draining the mines is an essential part of mining risk assessment.

Risk Assessments Are Required in Every Business

Companies in the UK can learn from this incident, even if they are not in the mining industry. The Health and Safety Consultants, Veritas Consulting, help businesses with their risk assessments on a daily basis.  It is essential to try and minimise and control any dangers in any industry, no matter how small the job is.  If you would like to discuss risk assessments or any other health and safety services give the experts a call.  Telephone 0800 1488 677 for more information.

About 

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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