Coal Mine Methane
As we all know, coal is a precious commodity and one that has a huge effect on the economy. It is something that must be consistently mined for. It is also known that methane is an incredibly flammable gas and something that is known to be common and to cause explosions if exacerbated. When these two elements are combined into coal mine methane, the results can be catastrophic. Methane within coal mines has been known to cause hundreds of explosions in mines in the past two hundred years. All it takes is a little methane (which isn’t hard to find when drilling deep into the earth in search of other elements) and a little fire and suddenly the entire mine network for as far as the gas pocket has to reach can light up a fire that will kill anyone in the near vicinity. Miners must be educated in the possibilities of coming across coal mine methane and what to do if this happens. The sad thing is it doesn’t take actual fire necessarily. In fact it doesn’t even necessarily take electrical equipment. All it takes to come to this dangerous conclusion is some tough rock (which shouldn’t be too hard to find in an underground mine), a pocket of methane, and a pickaxe.
People may think that only a stupid person would do something like ignite a spark when they know that a mine is filled with methane, but it is also true that this is not something that would necessarily be noticed by someone that is taking care to mine rather than taking care to do every little bit of research. Professional miners find themselves in tough predicaments like this all the time and it is just as likely to happen to a pro as it is to a rookie. This is because pros have been in the mines so long with no injuries or screw ups that they take a little less care every time they go in. They’re not sitting there worrying about the chance of finding coal mine methane when this is the millionth time they’ve been underground. And they’re often wearing masks to prevent horrible coal dust from getting into their lungs, which would mask the smell of methane from them until they ignite a spark but hitting a rock too hard with their axe and it will cause an explosion that will result in an irreparable amount of damage to themselves and everyone else in the mine. Great care must always be taken in all situations in a mine, but it is hard to explain the perils of methane in coal mines to someone that has spent all of their lives in a mine doing the same thing every day with no problems. They get cocky and less careful, it’s only natural. Perhaps risky areas are better left to rookies for this reason.
This job title might make you think of what an electrician does. But you need to be aware that this is a very different role in many ways, and it does not have the same level of responsibility or involve as many tasks as an electrician would take on. The...