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Archive for the ‘health and safety’ Category

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I was always healthy until I visited the doctor for a checkup.  Then they found all sorts of things wrong with me:  internal components not working; high levels of this and that and consequential concerns; indications of too much drink and smoking; blood pressure where it should not be;  weight too high; and so on.  Although I did loose some fifteen lbs on my recent trip to Peru and Chile. Maybe not enough alcohol,  lots of walking, and all that terrible Peruvian food.  How can you like raw fish in vinegar; black potatoes in squid ink; or slimy muscles in red pepper?  I cannot and probably ate too little.

No matter.  We get old and things go wrong.   I suppose it is all a matter of what will get me first.  As long as it is not an angry reader of this blog.  But the doctor laughed and told me to keep going for there are many years yet to write this stuff, she said.  When did the doctor become a lady younger than my daughters?  It is just not fare.

So instead I spent the day writing reports on tailings dam I have recently observed.  I am amazed at the low standard of stability analyses I have seen.  Fourteen analyses and not one of them is correct!  Here is a list of the most common mistakes.  At least I have set those so-called reputable consultants working again.

  • Failure to include foundation soils in the stability analyses.  Apparently they did no foundation drilling, so did not include foundation layers.  Subsequent drilling has shown there are liquefiable layers in the foundation.
  • Failure to include the phreatic line in the cross section.  Apparently they had not yet installed piezometers so had no water table.  Subsequent work has shown that there is a high phreatic line in the cross section.
  • Use of circular arc failure surfaces in cohesionless materials.  We all know that planar failure surface develop in such materials.
  • Failure to use planar failure surface to calculate stability analyses involving sliding along a weak foundation layer.  They used circular arcs which simply cut through strong and weak foundation layers.
  • Use of the pseudostatic coefficient for seismic stability analyses in high earthquake regions.  They should be doing deformation analyses in order to estimate deformation.
  • Failure to account for buildup of excess pore pressures as the tailings rises.  Too complex to do I suppose.
  • Incorrect use of strengths of materials:  UU for slow failure and CU for fast failure.

No wonder these things fail.  Not only are the stability analyses done by amateurs, the phreatic surfaces they calculate using standard programs are just simply wrong.  But that is another blog topic.

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The general approach to undertaking a risk assessment is well described in International Standard IEC/ISO 31010, which also provides considerable information about risk assessment methods. It notes, however: “The standard does not provide specific criteria for identifying the need for risk assessment, nor does it specify the type of risk analysis method that is required for a particular application.” (more…)

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Mine safety is an every critical topic.  Here are links to some interviews on the topic.  These interviews were conducted during the International Mines Rescue Body (IMRB) this past October in Niagara Falls by Dräger, a leader in mine safety and technology.  The interviews cover deep mining, first response capabilities, and refuge rooms and chambers.

I watched them all and found much of interest.   Hope you find something that makes your mine safer.

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Virginia Beach has what is possibly the greatest collection of ugly public art I have yet come across.  Here are some pictures to prove my point. In addition to these pictures we saw the following scenes that I did not photography while wondering around. (more…)

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It is twenty below here in southeastern Iowa.  The same as the reported temperature in Fort McMurray.  Here everything is mostly shut down.  So we stay in doors and avoid discussions about politics.   Instead  of trying to records things here—which would just offend somebody—I repeat this from an email, and use it as a way to express sympathy with the families of those who died in mining last year. (more…)

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I have just received an advanced copy of CostMine’s U.S. Metal & Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefits — 2013 Survey Results.  You will be able to purchase the complete copy very soon from CostMine. In this and a few following postings, I will note salaries, wages, and compensation for U.S. mining people in 2012 and 2013.  Let us start with wages.  Here are the national average hourly wages, in US Dollars for 118 U.S. mines for some job categories: (more…)

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Journalists (and bloggers) have discovered that spills are big news.  There is always the element of failure, of human ineptitude, environmental impact, and an aggrieved local ready to state that all future headaches will be attributed to the spill. The most recent is a spill of radioactive fluids at the Ranger Mine in Australia.  Here is part of the report: (more…)

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