That is even with the cutting-edge technology for safety and protection, including ergonomics, innovative fabrics and materials, and designs that have taken many of the past incidents involving injury into account.
So imagine being in this prep plant in Illinois in the early 1900s, cleaning coal in a preparation plant by hand – and an unprotected hand, no less. Never mind the damage that could be done to one of these gentlemen’s arms, necks, eyes or heads if something in the facility, coal or otherwise, were to fall or strike them.
Our preparation facilities have certainly seen much progression over the past century, but our attention to safe production – both underground and at the surface – has never been a static endeavor.
Production first, safety second is now safety first, production last, and for good reason. Remember the importance of personal safety, as well as the safety of your crew and colleagues, each and every minute.
Photo courtesy United States Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration National Mine Health and Safety Academy Technical Information Center & Library, Bureau of Mines Collection.