How Mobile First Aid Services can Address Mining Related Injuries?

Mining is basically an extraction of valuable minerals and other geological minerals from the earth or of non-renewable resources like natural gas, petroleum and also water. When it comes to mining, it is believed that methane and coal dust explosions have caused some of the biggest mining disasters in world history and these incidents frequently end up trapping or killing underground miners. Mining is dangerous work and mining related injuries claiming lives each year are common to every country.

Despite technological advancements and safety guidelines outlined by the industry and the governments, mine fires, explosions and cave collapses, death by injury of flying debris, premature explosions and misfired explosions still occur causing serious injuries and loss of life.A mine also houses dangerous gases housed inside it including carbon monoxide, methane, carbon dioxide and sulphide, and they build up with time thereby having combustible and explosive qualities making them susceptible to accidents on site.

While most of the world’s nations have passed safety regulation norms for mines, in terms of work safety, mining in Canada continues to remain a hazardous industry even with reduction in fatal injury rates since the last century. However as an industry mining is risk-heavy and vulnerable especially as new mining properties are constantly being explored and discovered in remote areas or mountainside. Many a times its workforce tends to stay at temporary residential camps that are set up to house the workers who work for a minimum of 2 weeks at a stretch on the site. Usually these sites are in remote areas or couple of hours from a big city or town and therefore far from medical facilities.

Sometimes the mines are underground or in open pits and many of these sites lack proper medical facilities for primary care.These communities also tend to regularly face inadequate healthcare facilities for the mining company workers and their families.

Mines are especially vulnerable to accidents and emergencies since people work with explosives there. There is also danger of working amidst fast moving heavy equipment, blades and there is a chance of burns or other mining related injuries to occur during explosions. These are scenarios where a mobile casualty treatment center or a mobile treatment center (mtc) can make a world of difference to the patient.

While it is almost impossible to predict accidents and exigencies in a workplace, Canadian companies are mandated to provide first aid and emergency medical treatment via mobile first aid center or through having the services of an mtc Canada for their employees at worksites where the work is hazardous, in wilderness, in remote areas or in tough weather conditions.

-They provide Occupational First Aid

True to its name, Mobile first aid services or a mobile rehabilitation center is expected to follow and fulfill the most basic rules of first aid including – preservation of life, preventing an injury or illness from escalating, promoting recovery through treatment and monitoring, pain relief and in protecting and preventing a patient prevention from going unconscious. Here it is of utmost importance that a person is given first aid by medical experts who are trained in handling incidents related to mining called the mining medics who treat patients for a range of emergency incidents like a head injury, fractures, amputation, Asphyxia, contusions, electrocution, multi-system trauma, hemorrhage and cardiac arrest among others at the mobile treatment center.

– They form the basics of a good emergency response plan or preparedness at a mine

Starting immediate medical treatment to any injured workers is very much part of an emergency response plan drawn up at every mine site in case of exigencies or accidents. The law mandates that medical services and remote medical supplies must be available on site to help the medics respond to such accidents or injuries taking place on a mine. This preparedness is especially helpful when there are accidents or injuries in mines, and time is essential as it can impact a patient’s life forever. Further, the medical staff that is part of an mtc is trained in handling trauma medicine, triage situations and in dealing with mass casualties or accidents.The staff typically help with both preventive medicine and primary care with the help of remote medical services. These services includes drug screening, giving allergy shots, immunizations and working with the company to make the site safe with safety protocols.  Many a times casualties have to be sent to the nearest hospital with the help of advanced mobile first aid safety and patients need to be air lifted due to them suffering serious trauma.

-They are well-equipped to conduct injury management

Staff or Mining medics who are part of the advanced mobile first aid and safety services come with a combined knowledge and experience in both injury treatment and management. This means that they not only provide on-site assessment and treatment but also medical supervision via mobile first aid. A majority of staff or crew in this sort of mobile medical unit or mobile medical unit are OFA Level 3 attendants where OFA stands for (Occupational First Aid) which is an advanced level of first aid and training.

This means that they have expertise in pre-hospital care, giving first aid services and tending to mining related injuries at these kind of mobile Emergency Treatment units. Also called Emergency Medical Responder attendants this crew is expected to not only to provide supervised medical care to the patients but coordinate total injury management from the moment of accident or whilst sustaining an injury.  The medical crew in this tiny medical unit must have demonstrated experience and give early intervention to reduce impact of the work injury. Many companies like Kel-Dam First Aid services in BC’s Kamloops area are providing these services like Kamloops mobile first aid services to mining companies in the area.

-They offer 24/7 emergency response & management

A mining paramedic works in an unpredictable climate and has to wear many hats and is expected think on their feet. Their duties include a wide range right from offering on-site medical services to tending to First Aid cases, and handling acute trauma care. Apart from this mining medics tend to work closely with health and safety teams at the mine or at these mobile rehab center to carry out preventive and safety strategies to reduce work related injuries, alcohol and drug testing and hydration status of workers and professionals.Mining also has several negative impact on workers and having such medical treatment on the spot can help mitigate the long-term effects of this impact.Similarly as workers sometimes spend weeks at the location of their mines, it is important to also provide them medical advice for their everyday ailments, aches and pains through such treatment center.

-They help mitigate long term effects of mining

Not just first aid services, many mine workers also suffer from addictions of drugs and alcohol and can seek help at these mtcs or get further referrals to an expert to consult with.For instance, constant inhalation of the dust and toxic fumes from the mines can give rise to pulmonary diseases to the miners and there is also a high chance of water getting contaminated at a mine due to mining activities and could be fatal if ingested. Meanwhile dumping of industrial waste and slurry slowly erodes and destroys the adjoining land, soil and river leading to environmental concerns in the ecology of the place and the people working in it. Constant checks on the chemical levels of workers and their vitals by the medical staff at the mtc can help reverse long term damage and mining related injuries to workers. Referral to reverse the damage by treatment in a bigger health facility can also be done by the mtc staff.

-Well-Equipped mtcs can be lifesavers

The advantages of having Mobile first aid services are that they are retrofitted with every equipment that can be quickly mobilized by medical staff to quickly to meet an emergency head on and provide treatment to an injured workers. These mtcs have every equipment starting from defibrillators, rescue equipment, scheduled drugs, resuscitation equipment in a fully stocked medical room and stipulated and high spec ambulance vehicles equipped to deliver critical care to miners. This makes them are completely equipped to deal with emergencies of many types and aid in saving lives of miners.

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