In a typical work setting, mining machine operators:
- Are responsible for the health and safety of mine workers.
- Have a low level of job-required social contact. Operators can use radios to communicate with coworkers, but are isolated while operating mining machines.
Physical Work Conditions
- Always work outdoors.
- Often wear safety attire, such as hard hats.
- Are often exposed to noise levels that are distracting and uncomfortable.
- Are often exposed to hazardous equipment. There is some possibility of moderate injury.
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- Are often exposed to contaminants, such as coal dust, rock dust, or harmful gas.
- Are sometimes exposed to hazardous conditions, such as explosions or cave-ins. There is a medium likelihood of moderate injury.
- Are sometimes exposed to dim lighting conditions in underground mines.
- Are sometimes exposed to hazardous situations that produce cuts or burns. There is some possibility of slight injury.
- Are sometimes exposed to whole body vibration.
- Are sometimes exposed to cramped work places that require getting into awkward positions.
- Are sometimes exposed to very hot temperatures in underground mines. May be exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures when mining surface mines.
- Must be highly accurate in performing the job. Errors could cause serious safety hazards.
- Must be constantly aware of frequently changing or unusual events in mining operations.
- Must be sure all details of the job are done and that safety precautions are followed.
- Must allow the work pace to be set by the speed of the machinery.
- Usually work more than 40 hours a week.
- May work evening or night shifts at mines that operate 24 hours a day.