If you work on a mining site, you may use blasting to access whatever you are mining. While blasting is significantly safer than it was a generation ago, you still need to take steps to keep your crew safe. Keep these ideas in mind.
1. Use Software To Predict Blast Patterns
There is blast design software that predicts where the debris is going to fly after an explosion. To be on the safe side, you should always use this type of software, and you should work with a professional drilling and blasting contractor. Then, you can outline the areas where rocks are expected to fly as well as a safety buffer zone, and as long as people stay out of that area, you should be safe.
2. Sound a Signal Before Blasting
Unfortunately, blocking an area doesn't always keep workers or bystanders out of it. Ideally, you should have an auditory signal that you can use to tell people to get out of those areas. Everyone should learn what this sound means when they do their training. You may want to sound the signal a few minutes before you start the blasting so everyone can get out of the area.
3. Never Skimp on Safety Gear
Even if your employees are out of the danger area, they should still have the right personal protective gear. Don't try to cut costs in this area. Always make sure your employees have exactly what they need. In particular, if a stray rock flings out of the area, they need a hard hat to protect themselves.
4. Store Explosives Safely
When you're not using the explosives, you need to make sure they are stored correctly. Don't ever explore explosives in an area where they could catch fire or combust. Always use safety signs to warn workers of the dangers of various explosives.
5. Consider Mixing on Site
Generally, mining explosives can come ready to use or they come as a mixture that needs to be mixed on site. The materials you need to mix together are generally not explosive on their own, so it can help to make your work site safer if you order the mixtures and then mix them just before you need them. This can also take up less room and potentially save on shipping costs.
Finally, you may want to get extra help to safeguard your site. In particular, consider hiring a drilling and blasting expert.