Continuous Mining Machine Operators

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Continuous Mining Machine Operators

Continuous Mining Machine Operators - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, mining machine operators:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • 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.

Work Performance

  • 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.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.